Editor's Corner

DRM--Defective by Design?
Happy belated Day Against DRM! Or is that the right attitude? I agree that DRM has serious problems (that seem to be getting worse, not better), but there's no easy answer here.

I don't believe that digital rights technology is inherently evil. Programmers deserve to be compensated for their applications and artists deserve to be compensated for their art--not everyone can make money on support contracts or "donationware" apps. Without some form of data protection, piracy will undoubtedly increase. And a rise in piracy will likely result in a loss in legitimate sales (though I suppose that's not always a bad thing)

The current problem with DRM is that content publishers are abusing the power given to them with this new technology. Content licensing needs to be as unobtrusive and invisible as possible in order to really succeed.

Mobile phones are already emerging as a key battle in the DRM war, and so far it isn't looking so good for the media companies. The classic example is Motorola's iTunes phone, which is generally considered a failure at least partly because the phone's restrictive DRM prevents users from loading more than 100 songs at once, no matter what.

Similarly, media industry intervention torpedoed TiVoToGo, the mobile counterpart to TiVo's home video recorder. Techdirt explains how the media industry killed the whole product due to piracy concerns.

What are your thoughts on piracy and DRM? Post a comment on FierceDeveloper.com. -Eli