Monday, January 7, 2008

I don't like DRM

This is a little off topic, but I've never been a fan of Digital Rights Management (DRM). I understand that intellectual property owners must protect their property, but too often DRM is used to maximize profit at the cost of a consumer's fair use. But I find that DRM has backfired. Consumers aren't dumb. They know when they are being punished for being honest citizens and they see the pirates enjoying a better quality experience for free. DRM is driving people away from legal sources of intellectual property. Publishers finally seem to be realizing their mistake and are slowly abandoning DRM.

But in the mean time, DRM content is still being sold and there have been a few buyers. Here's an interesting DRM experience documented by a Vista user:

Not only has DRM driven people away from media products but there are people who have sited it as a reason for not moving to Vista. This is the first concrete example I have seen that validates those people's fears. It's one of the reasons I have chosen to only use Vista on my laptops at home.


bbking67 said...

For some reason ipod users seem to almost like DRM. iTunes is insidiously tied in to DRM much like Vista's media player is. It takes a fairly savvy user to bypass DRM in order to provide the flexibility most people expect and desire. Even honest people...

Gordon Martin said...

I don't think the popularity of the iPod is an endorsement of DRM. Most people don't load their iPods with iTunes music. They buy iPods because of the functionality and user interface. Try turning off iPod's ability to play generic MP3s and see how long it remains a top seller. But watch iTunes sales increase as it offers more DRM-free music.