I finished listening to Ian Dixon's The Windows Media Center Show #32 - DRM yesterday. Bob Weber of Strategy Kinetics, LLC and Marcus Matthias of Microsoft do an excellent job of laying out the basics of DRM, the problems, opportunities and future trends. This is a 'must listen' for anyone with a vested interest in the issues surrounding DRM.

Categories: DRM | Comments [0] | # | Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 2:15:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

Ed responded kindly to my Lot's of People Seem Up In Arms About Sony Copy Protection post with It’s not about copy protection.

He's totally right -- it's not about copy protection.

It's about theft.

Ed is an author by trade. He makes a living selling words printed on a page. If he can't earn money writing great books because people steal them he will find another way to make a living. I'm pretty sure he is married. His wife will not allow him to not make a living. :-)

So, in response to his wife's need for him to make a living...

  • His most recent book is only available for the general public via purchase at a store (virtual like Amazon or brick and mortar like Borders). The store has a lock on the front door. Even though I personally wouldn't dream of stealing Ed's book the store still has a lock on the front door. Even though I'm not a criminal, the store is treating me like one.
  • When I purchase Ed's book I agree to at least two 'End User License Agreements'. The first is the store policy governing any purchase I make. The second is the terms and conditions of the legal tender I use to pay for the book (cash, credit card, debit card, bartered chickens). If I don't agree, I can't walk out of the store with Ed's book. Did I read all of the fine print in those EULAs?
  • When I open up Ed's book I find something like the following in the very early pages: 'Copyright © 2005 by Someone. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher.' Even after purchasing this book, I don't appear to have any rights except to read it silently in its original form unless I want to take extra steps to get permission. I wasn't explicitly made aware of that by the store or any store employee prior to purchase.
  • 'The printed book is difficult and expensive to copy, and it’s nearly impossible to make a copy that looks and works like the original.' He has made it extremely difficult (but not impossible) for me to make a backup copy of the book.
  • Ed's book installs knowledge into my head without 'providing an easy and straightforward way for me to completely undo the changes if I so choose.'

Yep, Ed Bott has Analog Rights Management (ARM™) protecting his copyrighted material.

How nefarious!

I'm still gonna buy his books, though. That is my choice.

Ed has chosen to include a PDF version of the book on the CD included with your purchase. It doesn't have any form of DRM. That was his choice.

Categories: DRM | Comments [10] | # | Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2005 8:33:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

People are all abuzz about Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far by Mark Russinovich. Ed Bott has posted no less than 4 entries on the subject alone in about 8 hours, the latest being Is Sony Violating The Law?

A couple of thoughts...

1) Why aren't people attacking folks who steal digital content (music, TV shows, movies, etc.) with the same zeal and passion.

2) Why has Ed picked a delivery system for his latest professional writing with such unfriendly DRM and obvious disrespect for my fair use rights?

Categories: DRM | Comments [11] | # | Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2005 5:11:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   
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