Yet another attempt at DRM

That’s the title of my weekly Slaw post today.

It says:

There have been a few articles recently talking about a new proposed method of digital rights management called Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem. The idea is to control what we do with video purchased online, and allow us to use it on multiple devices. See this LATimes article, and this TechCrunch article.

One problem with DRM is that it never really works. Someone always finds a way around it, so it does nothing to stop pirating on a commercial scale. And it usually causes problems for the average consumer, and puts undue limitations on what we can do with it. So the entertainment industry then tries to get laws passed to make it illegal to circumvent digital locks. (That’s one of the objections to bill C-61 – but I digress.)

This new system is being touted to overcome the problem where people buy, for example, a song to play on their MP3 player, but DRM prevents them from playing it on their computer or in their car.

Apparently the proposed system would allowed one to play it on any device you have that you register with “them”. This raises huge privacy flags for me. It would require us to register with “them” and list every device we want to play this content on. Perhaps the privacy issues could be addressed – but regardless of the privacy promises we receive – how many consumers would want to give this kind of information to an industry that has a tendency to sue its customers? 

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