13 February 2006

More on DRM and the real agenda

Yes, it's been pretty quiet over on this blog for a week. There hasn't been too much in Appleland to get me commenting on (we'll leave the rumours of a real video iPod with "gesture" interface for another day).

So, for my main technical commentary of the week, I'm going to refer you to a couple of Ars Technica articles that I found interesting.

The first is about HBO's plans to stop you recording their shows on your Tivo/DVR. As usual, the comments noted in the discussion after the article are as interesting as the article in their uniformity of opinion. I can't get over the breathtaking arrogance of the companies that take this view. Do they really believe that this will usher in a new generation of people paying the subscription price AND paying for it again? While the site itself is clearly a self-selecting group high on the geekiness quotient, I think that Joe Public will also see these policies for what they are. A business model based on taking away capability from its user base is never succcessful.

The second article is around the same topic - this time about how, in the view of the MPAA, DRM actually HELPS honest users . Yes, really. We are in need of moral guidance and DRM helps us really see what the right way is as our natural inclination to be pirates would otherwise takeover. Towards the end of the article comes...
Hollywood never got over Betamax and VHS being legal, and DRM is their plan for an 11th hour victory.

Given the first story (same site admittedly, but different authors), we see how this is being played out. Will we as consumers vote with our wallets? Will we do anything else about it (contact our representatives, get consumer advocates fighting our corner)? Or will we meekly accept what we're given?

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