Polska Brain Jelly

DRM Demonization: Hell Yeah!

by on Sep.24, 2009, under Internet

Engadget is running an article by Michael Gartenberg asking the question if DRM is being rightfully demonized.  His argument is that DRM is just a tool, and it’s how that tool is used that makes it good or bad.  He makes a statement toward the end that fairly well sums up the argument DRM opponents have:

Yes, I know most DRM solutions can and will be circumvented. If there’s a lock on the door, someone is always going to try to find the key and usually they will.

The simple fact of the matter is legitimate users come into contact with DRM issues much more often than those to whom the DRM is supposed to be targeting.  Pirates don’t run into DRM issues because it’s already been stripped away, allowing them a hassle free experience to the data they want.  It’s the paying customers that have to deal with denial of services caused by DRM not behaving properly or because of esoteric rules (like deactivation in iTunes before you upgrade or update) that should be clearly laid out to the person shelling out their money.  It’s analogous to being asked to show your receipt when leaving a store.  Shoplifters (at least the smart ones) aren’t going to walk out with something in the open.  They hide it first.  The really smart ones even pay for something minor so they have a bag to walk out with and a receipt to be checked.

I’m personally sick of being treated like a criminal from companies that I’m buying goods from, whether they be physical or digital.  It’s got to stop somewhere, and I already refuse to show receipts after I purchase something.  I think fighting intrusive DRM is the next logical step.  Consumers need to make a stand.


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