DRM is out of hand

This morning I ran into an article about the latest problems with DRM implementation. It seems Netflix has a new way for you to download and watch HD Movies that are in your video queue without having to wait for the disc to hit your home. What a great idea, and it should work better across different operating systems( and browsers ) than the Silverlight streaming service. Well thanks to the MPAA and COPP digital rights restrictions management developed by Microsoft this proprietary system doesn't play well with others. ...

The current netflix situation would probably work fine for people who purchase videos only from netflix, but as in the case of the article any unbox videos would be deemed unplayable. Of course if you have all the right hardware that follows the standards of the COPP DRM then it also might work without incident. But after making all the hardware choices to select and/or build your computer you may have missed that one little specification.

The whole thing reminded me of the DRM used on some albums, but most prominently on the Velvet Revolver "Contraband" album. Interesting title considering that they consider you a criminal if you bought the CD.

Then later today I noticed an article on the Motley Fool regarding the RIAA. The article is titled "We're all thieves to the RIAA". From a business perspective, it is saying that when a company would rather litigate than innovate it is a good time for investors to steer clear. Perhaps by involving the companies investors we can start to make these companies listen to reason.

All of this reminds me again and again of Larry Lessig's very logical TED talk on the topic of intellectual property rights. So I have included the talk here:

I'm with Larry on this one. I don't condone piracy of media, but when the media outlets start looking at us all as criminals they start to do things that make us into criminals. Of course the other alternative is to only use stuff that is not restrictive, public domain, open source and creative commons.

If DRM is going to work, and I hope it doesn't, the media distributors are going to have to hire some useability experts to make sure their actual customers aren't hindered by DRM. Especially since the pirates never are.

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