So, you've got some questions, do you?
Q: What the heck is DRM, and why is it so bad?
A: Good question. First, let me list for you some of the things that I like to do, as the chances are you like to do this stuff too:
- I record my favorite shows and watch them later.
- I like to create mix tapes for my friends.
- I want to watch my movies on my PC, TV and portable device.
- I make back-ups of all the music I've downloaded.
- I want to watch the new high definition stuff on my high definition display.
- Sometimes I like to share my videos or DVDs with my friends or family.
- I like privacy, so I don't want anyone snooping what I've watched or read.
- And I want to switch to GNU/Linux and do all this stuff as well.
DRM enables Big Media to stop you from doing this stuff. You see, THEY call it Digital RIGHTS Management - their rights. They want the right to restrict you and your behavior. That's why WE call it Digital Restrictions Management.
In short the Big Media conglomerates have realized that the traditional way of doing things - they sell you stuff and it's yours - isn't as good for them as - they sell you stuff and it's theirs. It's much better for them if they still own the stuff you buy from them.
Q: But my latest THINGY allows me to do some of the above?
A: For now, but with DRM they get to change the rules whenever they want and that can mean only one thing - more restrictions in the future.
Q: So you just want to make it easier for pirates to steal music and movies?
A: That is Propaganda, and that is what the Big Media Bosses are good at. That is why the politicians are so nervous of them. Watch carefully the scary pre-trailer of the next movie you watch, as that explains what they think of you. They already consider you a thief because you like to do stuff in the list above.
It is unfortunate that artists have been slow to stand up against Big Media, but it has started. In Canada a coalition of artists (musiccreators.ca) says:
Until now, a group of multinational record labels has done most of the talking about what Canadian artists need out of copyright. Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies, but let’s be clear: lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders, and seldom speak for Canadian artists. Legislative proposals that would facilitate lawsuits against our fans or increase the labels’ control over the enjoyment of music are made not in our names, but on behalf of the labels’ foreign parent companies.
Q: TVs talking to Computers talking to cellphones, reporting back to big companies... Have you been watching the sci fi channel? My stuff can't actually do that can it?
A: Yes, it can. They aim to collect what they consider very valuable marketing data about you, and they plan to do more, Artstechnica reports - A consortium of eleven companies, including EMI Music, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group; Apple Computer Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and RealNetworks, have joined together to form DDEX, short for The Digital Data Exchange. The organization's goals? "What we hope to accomplish is a foundation or baseline so that information about music and songs are going to be transmitted more efficiently," Chris Amenita, senior vice president of ASCAP, said in an interview with CNet. "Sort of like what the credit card industry did a number of years ago when they standardized their numerics."
Q: Who are you and why are you doing this?
A: We're technologist, programmers, computer users, and we're aware of these threats. It falls to us to bring this issue to the attention of the public.
Q: What are you going do about it?
A: I was just going to ask you that! But lets carry on this conversation after you've signed up. Join us now.