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.

Digital Security Coalition Concerned over Copyright Bill


Digital Security Coalition Concerned over Copyright Bill

IT security research and technology decries new liability for circumvention of technological protection measures

Ottawa, ON – June 20, 2005 – The Digital Security Coalition ( http://www.digitalsecurity.ca ), a coalition of Canada’s leading security research businesses, today expressed concern with Bill C-60, the government’s draft copyright legislation. The legislation proposes to introduce a series of new rights to benefit copyright holders, including prohibitions on the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) and on tampering with rights management information (RMI). Rights holders use TPMs and RMI like digital locks to regulate access to and use of digital content.

Universal DRM Standard Now The Cure For Nonexistent Problem

This TechDirt article includes:

DRM by its very definition restricts flexibility, not encourages it. Second, the idea of DRM compatibility is a highly incongruous one at best. As Ed Felten has noted, DRM requires some amount of incompatibility between approved devices and unapproved ones in order to be effective.

Legal protection for TPMs has no place in copyright law

p2pnet.net News View:- Canada's legislators are being bombarded by lobbying from legacy content industries to enact laws that give legal protection to technological protection measures they claim can safeguard copyright.

The problem with these policy proposals is: while technological protection measures can be extremely valuable, they can’t accomplish the goals of those who want to use them as a form of copy protection.

Technological Protection Measures (TPM) protect privacy and authenticity, and can be used to make sure only authorized persons gain access to content, whereas copyright is legislation that specifies the legal limits of what a person who already has access to the content can do with it.

Since TPMs and copyright accomplish quite different goals, it should be obvious that one can’t be used as a substitute for the other and legal protection for TPMs has no place in copyright law.

I’m strongly opposed to legal protection for TPM being added to copyright but I do, however, support legal protection for TPMs when used for purposes TPMs can legitimately and directly accomplish such as identity and privacy protection. It turns out that if appropriate legislation is passed to protect TPMs used to protect identity and privacy, positive uses of TPMs for copyright holders can be protected, at the same time avoiding the harmful unintended consequences.

What TPMs do

Cryptography is the most commonly used form of TPM. There are two broad categories relating to the type of keys used: symmetric key and asymmetric key cryptography.

Think of cryptography as math that allows you to encode information using a digital key that requires "the right key" to unlock it.

With symmetric key cryptography, the key that locks the information is the same as the one that unlocks it, and the information can be seen and exchanged only by people with that key.

With asymmetric key cryptography, you have one key that locks and a matching but different key that unlocks. This is often called public key cryptography because you can publish one of the keys and keep the other private. If someone encrypts information in the public key, it’s then private to the person with the private key and only they can unlock it. If someone encrypts information in their private key, anyone can decrypt it with the public key and discover the identity of the person who encrypted it.

Watermarks are another form of TPM which can be used to indicate the identity of the rightsholder.

What TPMs don't do

There are many technical explanations about why TPMs cann’t stop people from making unauthorized copies of works under copyright.

Non-technical people should recognize intuitively that TPMs can't protect copyright. They’re often told TPMs are like a lock.

Locks prevent people without the key from gaining access through a locked door, but they can’t protect you against people who have a key. With digital content, the copyright holder wants to give authorized people access to content and will therefore give audiences a key either directly or indirectly, for instance within a device such as a DVD player. They don’t want to restrict your access to what’s behind the locked door. But they do want to somehow restrict what you do once you’re inside. Locked doors obviously won’t allow this and any attempt to use locks to accomplish this goal is fundamentally flawed.

Given that TPMs can’t directly accomplish copy protection, indirect techniques used to try to "fit the round peg in the square hole" can have harmful and unintended consequences which offends the technical community as it strives to innovate and provide better interoperable communications tools, including better TPMs. The unintended consequences of legislation protecting misuse of TPMs cause considerable harm to innovation, competition, and compatibility in the marketplace.

flora.ca: Why creators should oppose DRM

EOF - If You Don't Believe in DRM, It Can't Hurt You

This LinuxJournal article by Don Marti includes:

"Keep your management off my digital rights" isn't merely a slogan for freedom lovers. It's a smart IT decision.


In this crazy business of ours, every once in a while, companies go into a frenzy to sell technology that doesn't work to customers who don't want it.

Piracy or DRM: Either way, there's a high price to pay

This Hollywood Reporter article by Joan Van Tassel includes:

But it is the social costs of DRM and CP that are the most troubling. These concerns fall into two categories: the stifling of innovation and the containing of civil liberties.


At the Digital Hollywood conference, Michael Weiss, president and CEO of Streamcast Networks articulated that view when he raised the question: "Do we want a society where every file is tagged and every consumer is tracked...all in the name of the enforcement of copyright?"

Hilary Rosen Laments Apple's DRM Strategy

I just have to add an article by Ernest Miller which offers Hilary "Hilarious" Rosen feedback on her lamenting the very anti-competitive, anti-interoperable DRM world that she was personally instrumental in creating.

This was and is an obvious consequence of your DRM-ed world, Miss Rosen. Apple is simply doing what comes natural. Having insisted on the means for exclusion being legally protected (i.e. DMCA), Apple is using those means to exclude competitors.

Hilary "Hilarious" Rosen Flashback

This "The Importance Of ... Law and IT" article by Ernest Miller includes:

A lot of folks have taken notice of the recent complaints by former RIAA head honcho Hilary Rosen regarding Apple's iPod DRM strategy.

Like my original post, however, many have concentrated on the fact that Rosen was decrying the very DRM that she had been such a strong proponent of. Let us not forget, however, that Rosen was an enemy of MP3 players all together.

Dvorak: Why Must the MPAA Lie to Us?

From the PCMAG Email newsletter:

The big media companies and the movie industry are crying foul over the FCC's broadcast-flag loss. For them it means consumers may have less access to their great content... or so they say. Columnist John C. Dvorak thinks that's baloney; he says the real reason the media companies are upset is, of course, loss of money. Dvorak wonders why the MPAA and others can't be honest and tell us why they're really worried. But if they won't, well, Dvorak will do it for them.


p2pnet: Control through DRM

p2pnet.net News View:- How can liberal thinkers trust transnational corporations more than their own neighbors?

One of the most interesting areas to be politically involved in at the moment is technology law. This is an arena where, “To err is human, to really fowl things up requires misunderstanding a computer”.

Michael's Minutes: You Own Nothing

This article by Michael Robertson includes:

To me it was money well spent because it raised awareness of the biggest threat to personal ownership in the digital age - DRM (Digital Restrictions Management).


No control means you do not have ownership. This would be like buying a new home and then finding out that someone else has the keys to the front door and they control your access in and out of the home. You'd hardly feel like a home "owner" in such a situation.


This is analogous to a rental agreement where the landlord can raise the rent, ban pets, or change other rules on a moment's notice.

See also: Squeeze Linux into Xbox, win $200,000

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