I want all my digital music to play on all my devices…

9 02 2006

Ah, but it typically won’t. The issue is DRM (Digital Rights Management). Not that the premise behind DRM is all evil, because it was designed to keep people from sharing their purchased music or movies with the whole world. Piracy is a big problem these days (though not quite as big as the RIAA & MPAA would like us to believe). Anyway, DRM has been taken way too far, taking away rights from us, the consumers. And all the major players in this game won’t play together. If I buy a song from iTunes but have a portable digital player other than an iPod, it isn’t compatible. Likewise with Microsoft and Sony. None of them are compatible with each other. They each want the whole industry to use their technique — for royalties. (It all comes down to money, of course.)

I read an article today by ZDNet Executive Editor David Berlind, who suggests a better acronym for DRM is CRAP. I have to agree. Click here to read his thoughts on the matter.

This may not affect you yet, but rumor has it lots of DRM is being built into the next version of Windows. And one of the next-gen DVD formats — Blu-Ray — has a lot of DRM built into it. One major drawback to all this new DRM is that you have to upgrade your hardware. Consider this : if your HDTV does not have an HDCP-enabled interface (HDMI or HDCP-enabled DVI) will not be able to display high definition video from a Blu-ray disc… they’ll reduce the quality of the video. And so they take away some of our freedoms and rights with this new DRM and we have to pay more to get it…

I’m thankful for all this technology we have access to, but it irks me when the large corporations take away freedom from us and make us pay for it…




2 responses

24 03 2006
Beppo’s Blog » France is trying to pass fair use law for digital music

[…] I do wish the companies would cooperate with each other, as I’ve written before. But the only way this plan will work is if many countries adopt it, particular the U.S. (where they get most of their sales). But for that to happen, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) would have to be modified, which really needs to happen. That law conflicts with the law of Fair Use and thus is restricting our rights. And it’s very vague in its wording, so technically a black permanent marker is illegal because you could use it to bypass DRM on some audio CDs. That’s absurd, of course, but that conclusion could theoretically be reached… […]

7 02 2007
Beppo’s Blog » Blog Archive » Steve Jobs calling for no DRM on online music

[…] Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs today called for the four major record companies to start selling songs online without copy-protection software (DRM, or digital rights management).  I think it’s a great idea.  I like iTunes, but I don’t like being so limited with the music.  As I’ve ranted on before, if I buy a song there, I can’t play it on a non-iPod MP3 player.  If I’m paying 99 cents per song (which seems fair to me), I should be able to play it on any of my music devices (which also seems very fair to me — and legal, consider “Fair Use”).  In a way, it’s surprising Steve Jobs is calling for this, because the DRM somewhat helps them (because of the iPod with iTunes relationship).  But I’m glad someone with clout is standing up for the rights of consumers. […]

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