Doctorow: DRM is evil

Some stuff you just know without being able to express it adequately. I hate badly designed copy-protection schemes, but I couldn’t find the right arguments to make my case without being ‘against’ artist. And then someone better informed comes along and sums it all up in a well-thought and clear presentation. That’s what happened with this speech on DRM (Digital Rights Management) by Cory Doctorow at Microsoft Research.

His five main points are:

  • DRM systems don’t work

    “all DRM systems share a common vulnerability: they provide their attackers with ciphertext, the cipher and the key.” Public Key cryptography is not entirely done justice here, but brings with it a whole other truckload of problems: revocation, trust hierarchy, …

  • DRM systems are bad for society

    Great quote: “Remember Schneier’s Law? Anyone can come up with a security system so clever that he can’t see its flaws.” and on DVD regions: “There’s no copyright here or in anywhere I know of that says that an author should be able to control where you enjoy her creative works, once you’ve paid for them. “

  • DRM systems are bad for business

    “DRM is the software equivalent of (…) closed hardware interfaces”

  • DRM systems are bad for artists

    “Tech gives us bigger pies that more artists can get a bite out of. “

  • DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT

    “Like millions of other Microsoft customers, I want a player that plays anything I throw at it, and I think that you are just the company to give it to me. “

    [Listening to: “Wiggle waggle” – Herbie Hancock – Sampled Vol 4 (CD 2/2)]
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