Friday, September 19, 2008


Is it just me or am I the only person on earth who is sick and tired of DRM? Rootkits, Securom, malware-esque software - these are the things companies are doing to make sure I cannot make copies of their software. On the one hand I can see the need to curb rampant piracy, but on the other hand what happened to my single backup copy? Here's what I think the bottom line is - at some point some judge on a bench somewhere needs tell corporate America "No. No you may not take whatever measures necessary to protect your IP. The consumer has a right to basic technology that could be used for piracy, even though the intent is not to do that. You will just have to accept it." If this happened, I'd immediately move to wherever that judge is and vote him or her in consistently.

I think perhaps the only DRM I'm actually okay with is Apple's Fairplay, and it isn't because I like Apple either. It's because it has to be the single best DRM scheme I've personally encountered - it doesn't ever actually bother me with questions and popups and firmware modifications. It just is there and does what it does best. It doesn't allow the files to be used on another person's computer without me logging in. It's brilliant! There's nothing else I have to do, the RIAA shuts up a little more, and I'm out just 99 cents, which is the cost of the hamburger I probably didn't need anyway.

Sadly, Fairplay is Apple's baby and they keep it locked up tight so it won't be cracked directly. That just leaves all the other things that drive me crazy - Securom, Sony's Sekrit Rootkits™, and their family of viruses. With so many applications moving into "the cloud" (fancy speak for "internet") why not just implement a forward moving scheme that doesn't actually burrow into my computer like certain diseases associated with adult occupations? It's two-thousand-freaking-eight for cryin' out loud!

Corporate America & Co.. I have news for you. We, your customers, don't like your digital rights management. No, you may not reach into my personal life in the name of the almighty dollar. No, you may not modify my system setup to ensure you get every damn penny you think you deserve. You know why we are pirating things these days? It's because you simply are too greedy to consider lowering the price of your goods to a point that doesn't require my left kidney. You're pricing your market right out of legitimacy. Stop turning out more and more crap that I'm not interested in that forces you to raise your price on the actual good content. Yes, I will vote with my wallet and yes, you will lose your money. And when that happens you will not have a right to whine that your profits are down and people are pirating your expensively priced good content. In this social contract I'm willing to support you if you stop being so greedy! Lower your prices, buy one less Porsche a year, and suck it up. You'd be surprised at how many more Porsches you'll get when you become affordable and higher quality.

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