Cory Doctorow, one of the chief contributors to popular web site BoingBoing.net, has written a compelling article about digital rights management for Information Week. It’s a nice overview of the effects of DRM on consumers. There’s a compelling argument that DRM is bad business – bad for the music and video industries, bad for consumers. Worth reading, especially if you buy anything from iTunes or if you’re considering a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player.
Here’s an interesting followup from a post on BoingBoing itself. A number of studios licensed movies to CinemaNow, which blanketed the press a couple of weeks ago with announcements that consumers could download the movies and burn them to DVD. “True innovation in home entertainment.” “A big deal that the studios are going to do this.” Etc., etc.
An optical disc engineer examined the downloads and determined that the DRM used on the downloaded files is designed to introduce errors into the data burned to a disc – on purpose, as part of the copy protection scheme. The DRM is designed so badly that many of the attempts to burn DVDs will fail and many or most of the DVDs made from those downloaded files will be unplayable.