Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation

This is a generic acronym used to describe a system of software, often including technical measures, used by copyright holders who "claim" that this stops or reduces copyright infringement. DRM in fact does not affect those engaged in unlawful activities, and can only impose hidden digitally encoded contract terms on law abiding citizens.

Please see: Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI, Protecting property rights in a digital world.

Obama embarrassing himself on "Copyright"

The following is a letter I wrote to my MP:

Mr. McGuinty,

I know Canadians love Obama, and I have to admit that I fell for this great speaker as well, but his decision to include Canada on the priority watch list in USTR's Special 301 shows how little he knows about this key legal and economic issue facing the global economy.

(link to press release of report)

Why won't the movie and television studios accept my money?

I would gladly pay a hefty monthly fee for this wonderful service—if someone would take my money. In reality, I pay nothing because no company sells such a plan.

This quote is from a Slate article by Farhad Manjoo. While my personal choice is to simply not watch the movies/shows that are not offered to me rather than accessing them for free, I totally understand this situation. It is frustrating that these companies spend so much money on lobbying incorrectly claiming that infringement is the top reason for downturns in revenue.

Ontario's Privacy Commissioner is a DRM advocate?

I thought I would point people to a discussion following a podcast interview that Jesse Brown did of the Ontario Privacy Commissioner. It turns out that she wishes to use DRM technology to enforce "privacy", something many of us will understand to be counter-productive.

DRM a "privacy nightmare" or legalized theft? Apple still wrong side..

An ITBusiness article by Jennifer Kavur updates people on the current state of discussions around DRM. While the focus was on the less significant lock on content and how an increasing number of content owners/distributors are removing previous anti-interoperability locks, I tried to bring the conversation with Jennifer the more important foreign lock on our hardware.

Obama: Change that may take your computer from you?

I think it is obvious from what I've written before that I'm of mixed feelings about the new Obama administration. While there are many positive things he appears to represent, it seemed likely that he would be terrible on the most critical technology and economic policy question of our generation: who will ultimately control the means of production and distribution in the knowledge economy. This conflict wasn't entirely surprising given I've spent much of the last decade+ fighting bad Clinton/Gore policy (DRM/etc) even though on some other issues (IE: climate change) I have some agreement with Gore.

For some of the latest on the damage that Obama may inflict on our technology property rights and the global economy, check out RIAA Takes Over DOJ, by Alan Wexelblat. Some of the comments have suggested that those of us who are worried have no reason to be, but for this we will just have to wait and see.

Apple Shows Us DRM's True Colors

EFF offers a useful clarification of the announcement from Apple of an alleged move away from DRM. Certain audio purchased via Apple's iTunes music may no longer be locked to Apple authorized devices, but most of their hardware/software and data remain locked down.

Focusing on DRM on content, and thinking this has anything to do with reducing copyright infringement, has always been a distraction from the actual impacts of foreign digital locks.

The GNU Affero General Public License and “DRM”

There is an all too familiar dynamic in conversations about copyright. If you disagree with a proposed solution to a problem, such as the unintended consequences that it can have, then the proponents presume it is because you disagree that there is a problem. I am very familiar with this dynamic when speaking to copyright holders about "DRM" or technological measures as they believe any opponent to the use or legal protection of these measures must be apologists for copyright infringers.

I observed the same dynamic last weekend at the Ontario Linux Fest when discussing some concerns I have with the Affero General Public License (AGPL). The conversation was with Bradley M. Kuhn, one of the people behind the license.

Read the rest of this entry »

Satellite Piracy, Mod Chips, and the Freedom to Tinker

Timothy B. Lee posted a good article documenting how anti-circumvention legislation will lead to a society where any unauthorized tinkering with technology will be presumed illegal. There is little possibility of innovation in that type of society, as a simple definition of innovation is the unauthorized enhancement of the past.

During this election we need to challenge politicians who say they support both an innovation agenda and DMCA-style legislation as the two are incompatible. Governments really have to choose between innovation or technologically (rather than court) enforced copyright, given it isn't possible to have both.

Apple declares war on sneaker hackers

Thanks to a SlashDot article I was pointed to an article by Nicholas G. Carr talking about Apple's latest patent on extending DRM to technology embeded in clothing. The intent? To use technology to disallow people from using the lawfully purchased technology in whatever other useful ways the owner might want to.

I think it is well worth a read for those Apple Fanboys who still cling to the notion that it is some other industry (Music? Movies?) that dragged Apple into the DRM world -- rather than the reality that it was the other way around.

"Remember C-61" poster: technology property rights defenders!

Along with this PDF I received the following note:

The author of this literary and artistic work exercises his or her moral right to remain anonymous! ;)

It's a riff off the old Reform Party/anti-gun-control campaign from 1996, "Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote"

The irony is not lost on me. Bill C-68: An Act respecting firearms and other weapons created a registry that was an IT boondoggle, but for a true property-rights protecting conservative should be considered a minor issue compared to Bill C-61.

Syndicate content