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Death of DRM: You heard it here first

Well, not first, exactly, but long before The Economist.

Belatedly, music executives have come to realise that DRM simply doesn’t work. It is supposed to stop unauthorised copying, but no copy-protection system has yet been devised that cannot be easily defeated. All it does is make life difficult for paying customers, while having little or no effect on clandestine copying plants that churn out pirate copies.

While most of today’s DRM schemes that come embedded on CDs and DVDs are likely to disappear over the next year or two, the need to protect copyrighted music and video will remain. Fortunately, there are better ways of doing this than treating customers as if they were criminals.

[Schemes whose] purpose is simply to collect royalties…. By being reactive rather than pre-emptive, normal law-abiding consumers are then left in peace to enjoy their music and video collections in any way they choose. Why couldn’t we have thought of that in the beginning?

Greed, perhaps? Nah. Couldn’t be.

Then again, the idea has been obvious to me for years. Possibly, I’m a genius whom The Economist should hire. More likely, it’s a bloody obvious idea.


Technorati tags: copyright, copyleft, creative commons, DRM, Economist.
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