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Excuses, excuses - Journal of Omnifarious

Jan. 16th, 2007

08:45 am - Excuses, excuses

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In this article a convincing case is made that DRM (aka Digital Restrictions Management) isn't really about piracy, and much more about the big businesses behind various kinds of media wanting much more detailed control over their customer's behavior. But one comment struck me: "As to the topic, I think you're preaching to the converted. Unfortunately the uninformed masses will never care like we do.". This is both horribly elitist and a cop-out. It's exactly what I'd expect from people with this attitude. Basically the poster feels that people are dumb and can never be shown what kinds of problems this sort of thing causes them and that it's left to us digital elite to be the ignored voice in the wilderness. Bah!

As far as I can tell from talking to people, there is a nearly universal frustration with the stupidity of DRM restrictions. A lot of iTunes users purposefully (and illegally) remove the DRM. And this is not in order to do anything that's illegal other than removing the DRM, but just because it's a huge pain to do legal things with the song you bought.

I think the education job is easy. The hardest part is convincing people that something can be done about it, not convincing them that it's hurting them. And regardless, it falls to people who know to do the educating anyway. Throwing up your hands and saying "The idiots will just never understand." is not helpful.

Here is a list of good links for both education and learning how something can be done:

Current Mood: [mood icon] contemplative
Current Music: Aerosmith - Janie's Got A Gun

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:mysticalforest
Date:January 16th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
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As far as I can tell from talking to people, there is a nearly universal frustration with the stupidity of DRM restrictions.

I disagree. There isn't universal frustration because there isn't universal experience with it.

Take me: I've never had the single, slightest difficulty with DRM. Why? I don't encounter it day-to-day.


A lot of iTunes users purposefully (and illegally) remove the DRM.

I don't knowingly know any, but that's just my experience.


it's a huge pain to do legal things with the song you bought.

Like what? Again, I'm drawing from my own experience. I buy a song from iTunes. I play it on my iPod. Done.


The hardest part is convincing people that something can be done about it, not convincing them that it's hurting them.

I disagree. The hardest part is convincing people to care. My issue is usability. DRM doesn't impinge on my ability to consume or listen to music so I'm very low on the caring scale. Arguments about what rights I'm losing by having DRM are moot because I'm not deliteriously affected by them as it stands today.

Like I say, I buy it, I use it. Done and done. DRM doesn't force me to jump through any hoops nor make me enter a password when I switch albums or any such theoretical hassle.

So DRM = "Meh."
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[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:January 16th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
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The karma for this level of purposeful apathy comes in the form of either Apple going out of business (thereby rendering all of 'your' music unplayable unless you break the law) or the more likely case of Apple's DRM servers suffering a massive DDOS attack. I really hope one of these circumstances presents itself soon.

The biggest problems I've heard are from people who have a couple of different accounts with Apple. They often acquired them because they didn't realize one account could work for a few different purposes. Then they're music players start demanding passwords at random times for one account or the other depending on which one that particular device happens to be registered under and depending upon which account bought the song.

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[User Picture]
From:mysticalforest
Date:January 16th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
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The karma for this level of purposeful apathy

Then jolt me out of it! Give me two reasons why I should care about Apple's DRM. Right now, that seems like a tough row to hoe because, like I say, I'm not inconvenienced by it now.

But still, if there are two reasons, hit me with 'em!


I really hope one of these circumstances presents itself soon.

So you would wish that millions of people suffer needlessly to prove an intellectual point—that would remain irrelevant to those who've been inconvenienced?


(thereby rendering all of 'your' music unplayable unless you break the law)

I don't know why you're putting your in quote marks. I don't dial into Apple to ask permission every time I listen to music. And, sure, it is my music. I put it on CD after buying it on iTunes and everything. They even gasp! play on CD players. The difference between that and buying a CD at a store is what (aside from the fantastic convenience of iTunes store vs. having to go to a physical store—and price, selection, recommendations, reviews, integration with my iPod, &c.).


Then they're music players start demanding passwords at random times

Either you've been misinformed or you're talking about something else. iPods don't have passwords—unless you lock the device, but that's device-specific and nothing whatsoever to do with Apple's DRM.
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