Death to DRM

This is a very scary idea which must be stopped:

one of the industry guys said that their big legislative priority is to try to create a regime where you have to register with a unique, verifiable ID to access the Internet.

Not long ago, there was an excellent discussion of the genuinely Orwellian potential of a takeover of our beloved Internet by this so-called "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) technology.

Those who pooh-pooh these fears and assume, for example, that Linux offers a way out, that an "outlaw internet" will save us, that "people won't accept this" or that "the hackers will come to the rescue" should ALL read the above.

Also read the comments, including gems like this from Pixy Misa:

a full-strength universal DRM requires a level of totalitarian government and big-business control that is utterly terrifying far beyond the mere inability to play music when we want to.

As I said, the backers of DRM are evil.

So were Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and a lot of people.

Does this mean we have to kill the DRM people? Or can we just zap their buildings with a giant junkyard magnet?

Sounds very grim to me. However, I did find slight cause for slight optimism in this one comment by Joseph Hertzlinger:

Mandatory DRM is not to Microsoft's advantage. If there's a law mandating DRM, it will be based on a publicly-available standard that changes in government time. That means anybody will be able to write software dealing with it. If there is no mandatory DRM, but some media companies use the commonest proprietary standard, Microsoft stands to gain. It can change the standard every year or two as competitors start to accumulate.

In other words, we'll have to be allied with Satan.

Downright Churchillian!

I also like illegal networking. (How about some new underground movement, along the lines of Wi-Fi "ad-hoc" networking or something like that? It's tough to stop mutual consent.... Don't we still have freedom of association in this country? Or will the DRM fascists close that loophole too?)

Save your old computers. Hang onto Windows 2000. Buy more guns. Pray.

UPDATE: Hey, what do I know? According to the Geek Test, I'm still in the 1970s.

(Thanks to Straight White Guy)

UPDATE: Plus, nothing remains static. Totalitarian crackdowns invite the development of new technologies.

posted by Eric on 10.09.03 at 05:54 AM


Terrifying. That's like saying you have to show an ID to read a book. Not check out a book, _read_ a book, _any_ book.

Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  October 9, 2003 7:15 AM

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