Why does DRM exist?

Written by Wil Harris

January 24, 2006 | 06:30

Tags: #charlie-demerjian #dcma #drm #inquirer #mpaa

Companies: #riaa

Yesterday, we talked about how DRM on the next generation of optical devices leaves consumers with some fairly bleak options when it comes to connectivity. Well, that article caused you guys to get into a real ruckus on the forum, debating the pros and cons of HDReady logos, HDCP and current generation graphics cards.

Well, we figured we'd follow up that today with a link to an interesting editorial piece over on the Inquirer this morning. It's written by Mr Anti-DRM himself, Charlie Demerjian, a long-time proponent of open standards and intelligent architectures. Charlie is a good friend of ours here at bit-tech, and having listened to his rants over many a beer, it's interesting to see another one in print.

Here's a quick excerpt:

"Here is the problem, every DRM infection is unique, patented, copyrighted, copywronged, and DMCAd ad nauseum, They protect their code in every way possible, and make it so you have to get their approval to use it. This is all done under the guise of protecting content, but that is a lie. If you are going to steal content, do you think violating another copyright on the DRM mechanism will make you lose more sleep? Not a chance.

If you are a rival company though, you can't really violate such things and get away with it for long, Sony, MS and most people swiping GPLd code are proof of that. So, you have to license it to play ball, or at least play music and movies. That is the true nature of DRM infections, to keep other big greedy companies out."

There's some fairly good speculative back-up presented for this theory that really puts a new spin on the whole business. Go check out the article, then let us know what you think about it in the forum.
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