Anti-DRM Screed

Look! A blog post!

This morning I posted a link to an anti-DRM comic on my Facebook feed.

There was a comment thread that I wanted to save, so I decided to put it into a blog post.

A friend posted the following comment (slightly edited):

A. I use that very same system to legally download audiobooks from Henn Cty Library and once you figure it out the first time it’s fine.

B. I think that DRM is meant to protect the rights of the artist and isn’t just something created by lawyers to bug us.

C. DRM wouldn’t need to be so complicated if people were honest and just simply didn’t desire to steal copyright content.

My response was as follows:

A. I’m glad it works for you. But why should I have to “figure it out” to listen to an audiobook? But what about the people who don’t run Windows? Can I listen to these audio books on my Linux laptop? I doubt it. Also, any extra software you have to install adds more complexity to the computer. I already have at least three ways to play mp3s on my computer. Can you listen to these audiobooks on your non-iPod MP3 player? Can you burn them to a CD and listen to them in your car? These are all legal uses, but the DRM stops you from doing them. Additionally, DRM software quite often slows the whole system down, or worse, has rootkits or backdoors in it. Google for Sony rootkit sometime.

B. DRM is designed to prevent consumers from using content in legal ways, not protect the artists. When you buy a book, it’s yours to do what you like with (within reasonable copyright limits). You can lend it do someone – try that with a DRM audiobook. You can sell it – try that with a DRM audio book. “But we are talking about a library book here” you say. Okay, when you check a book out of the library you can’t sell it, but you can lend it to a friend. DRM is a product of the media corporations and is designed to cripple your rights as a consumer so they can make more money. The media giants scream about piracy, but there have been many studies that show its less prevalent then they say it is. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that many people who download music illegally go out and buy the albums. Other studies have shown that releasing content in non-DRM forms results in MORE sales, not fewer. There are many artists that have spoken out against DRM and there are even artists that would like to release their art in non-DRM formats but the media corporations will not let them.

C. See my comments in B. But also, why do you think it is acceptable to punish the legal consumers because other people do illegal things? DRM does not stop anyone from downloading the content illegally. I guarantee you that any audiobook you download in DRM format from the library is available in non-DRM format on the internet. How is the DRM protecting the content? It’s not. All DRM can be and is broken. The only thing that DRM does is add hassle for the legal consumers. Why is this acceptable?

DRM and the media lobbyists also brought us the DMCA – one of the worst laws ever passed.

If you are truly interested in why so many people are anti-DRM you can start your research at these links:


http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2007/02/how_to_explain_/

http://www.eff.org/issues/drm

http://www.learnoutloud.com/content/blog/archives/2006/11/the_top_10_argu.html

And for information about the DMCA and why it’s so bad, you can start here:

http://www.anti-dmca.org/whats-wrong.html

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