Monday, February 27, 2006

Maintaining control through DRM

Kathryn Cramer has an interesting post about DRM as the "new killer app for corporate authorship.". As I've mentioned before, and as many others have known, the war on internet piracy has nothing to do with lost profits, but everything to do with maintaining control. While there may be some merit to the argument that pirated DVDs sold on the streets of New York (for example) contribute to lost sales, good studies have shown that the effect of internet piracy is nil. By arguing that piracy is hurting their bottom line, however, big media can now convince Congress and the Courts to install DRM software that enables them to control what gets made and distributed. Don't believe the hype - this is just another way to make sure that in the future, the media you share will be bought from the same people as today. A long time ago, before most people started thinking about using to distribute content, Hollywood figured out that user-generated-content could be bad to their bottom lines and watermarking and other DRM is a way to re-professionalize media such that user-generated-content falls to the wayside.

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