Through the MCDM

July 20, 2008

DRM: Desirable, inevitable, and almost irrelevant article

Filed under: Abstract — captainchunk @ 11:35 pm

Reading the DRM article by Andrew Odlyzko got me to thinking about some DRM issues that I had not previously spent much time contemplating.

The basic concept that Odlyzko outlines is the fact that DRM “gets in the way of maximizing the value of intellectual property by conflicting with some powerful human drives” and as such will not play a significant role in the actual consumption of digital media. I think he realizes that DRM works great as a superficial veil of security that large companies will employ on high value digital content. DRM will continue to be used by large media companies for the foreseeable future, but lower value digital content will not use DRM.

Odlyzko wrote a little about DRM in relation to individuals and not companies. The traditional idea of DRM has applied to the media companies because they were the ones producing the content, but with armatures producing content, will DRM play any role in that media? If it was possible, would you place DRM on videos you uploaded to Youtube? Embed DRM into images you upload to Flickr? I think the most likely answer would be no… but I think there may be more to think about.

Looking at DRM through Benkler, you could say that DRM is limiting to innovation. Benkler attacks copyright quite a lot and DRM is something similar in the fact that it is protecting digital goods. I don’t think that DRM really does anything it is suppose to do in any way other than to soothe the minds of the big media owners.

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