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Do you know what DRM is? And why it’s bad?

By June 21, 2004websites

DRM stands for ‘digital rights management.’ The Entertainment industry thinks it is the golden path to protecting content in an increasingly digitized world (you know, there are pirates everywhere). That’s a predictable view; those who need to be ‘saved’ need to believe in a Savior. But for those of us who will be subjected to DRM it might be nice to have an idea of what it is and why it’s bad. This speech by writer Cory Doctorow is entertaining and easy to understand, at least if you aren’t in the Entertainment business praying for a Savior and using cloudy judgment.

I love the reference to Schneier’s Law: “Anyone can come up with a security system so clever that he can’t see its flaws.” This is the fundamental problem of DRM. In a misguided effort to restrain profit-seeking digital pirates (who aren’t easily thwarted), we manage to create a system that penalizes legitimate users. This is the social flaw of DRM, and that’s one of several flaws that its creators and promoters don’t see.

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