D(ont)R(estrict)M(y rights)

by P

Bob Frankston sent a rambling, but right, comment in support of Cory Doctorow’s recent DRM piece regarding Google Video.

Cory asks:

“…why has Google done this? There’s no Google customer who woke up this morning looking for a way to do less with her video.”

and then points out that DRM systems extend the boundaries of existing intellectual property law. He calls DRM a “a one-sided vision of how copyright should work”. In this case the “one side” is not using any of the standard procedures and processes we oblige our lawmakers to apply. Is this something to worry about or will the pressure of social norms (and the smarts of software developers worldwide) render these last efforts as useless as the chip that someone wanted to build into everyone’s TVs at one point … see you don’t remember that on either. BitTorrent already serves almost everything google video will offer, but without DRM. And as Cory points out, you can use google search to find it.

What this is really about is an incumbent industry’s desperate attempts to rescue an outdated business model. The costs are born by innovation, and ultimately society. Or, as Bob puts it:

“[Hollywood thinks] Opportunity is to be viewed with fear because it changes the rules. DRM is an attempt to prevent opportunity and disruptive change.”

Going home now to video-tape my favorite TV show …