The Evils and Necessities of DRM

Let’s talk about why digital content is DRMed, and why it is not good for consumers.  My personal take on this is that we are going down the wrong path. This is one of the few industries in which the consumer is not always right. It is sad that the provider treats the consumer like a thief and a child. Fair use is something that we should be going back to. DRM ties the content to a particular provider, and if the provider or the consumer goes away or vanishes, the content vanishes with it. There are much better ways to increase sales and deter piracy. The real pirates in China or some other country are not going to be detered from DRM. The only people it stops are the average consumer from enjoying the product that they legally purchased in the first place.  I pray that someday the music and movie biz finally gets it through their thick skull that DRM is flawed.

Follow the links and blogosphere conversation here:
http://del.icio.us/tyanon/DRM

Newsworthy: JHymn, and Apprentice’s IT contestants

I usually go through the better part of the morning checking out my RSS subcriptions on bloglines.com. Here’s a few stories that I found interesting:

JHymn Goes Behind Atoms and Apple To Bring DRM-Free Music
by Howard Wen describes the newest successor to Hymn that allows iTunes purchased songs to be freed from their shackles of DRM.

Microsoft worker wants to be Trump’s ‘Apprentice’
describes how TV’s Apprentice contestant Verna Felton is going for the title of Trump’s apprentice. She even has her own following at Microsoft and her own website.

Besides having a Microsoft representation in the show, Apprentice contestant Stephanie Myers works at IBM. Since, I work at IBM also (as a contractor), I was interested in seeing if I could locate her in the Intranet directory. Hmmm… looks like she still works at IBM, but her telephone number is not publicly made available. For legality reasons, I blurred out her email and building location.

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Apple iTunes DRM Protection Cracked

A very interesting software project at SourceForge came to my attention today called PlayFair. Legal issues aside, this program works as advertised. However, the resulting file seems to go from 128kbps bitrate to 127kbps.

PlayFair

I wouldn’t go crazy and start converting all the songs you bought at the iTunes store. The interface is raw and no GUI wrapper program has been created. If you are interested in reading more about the legal issues that have been raised, I’ve posted the following link.

Reference: http://www.macobserver.com/columns/devilsadvocate/2004/20030405.shtml