DRM and You: How to Break the Cycle

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One person who called in to the live show the other night had some pretty tough questions for me about DRM. He asked my thoughts on the direction of DRM technologies and the perceived war on consumers by media giants… mostly the methods the companies are using to interfere with the fair uses that we enjoy.

It all boils down to a matter of control. A lot of the media produced by the larger companies are what is consumer unfriendly. When you buy an audio file that is licensed for playback only on a certain system, that’s where it’s unfriendly. It tends to happen when a particular service is pulled or cancelled and your music (or video) becomes completely inaccessible… even if you paid for it.

It’s not that I have an issue with something being tied to a certain platform. I don’t mind that. I don’t appreciate DRM in any capacity. It feels too much like being locked in to a particular vendor.

Piracy is going to happen whether or not there is DRM on our media. DRM isn’t deterring anything… it’s making the thieves work harder to find ways around it. DRM is hurting those of us who are honest, and pay for our music, games and movies. Thankfully, I don’t see DRM in its current form being around forever.

If there’s any company out there who is going to destroy DRM, it will be Apple. They’re already well on their way with their iTunes Plus program: pay a fee every month and have the DRM removed from the content. You can play it anywhere you like from then on, without any hassles.

I understand why companies are doing what they’re doing, but I disagree with the way they’re going about it. It’s just not working the way they intended it. Digital reproduction is not going away. The companies either need to get with the program or go away.

If you’re against DRM, then don’t support it. Pay for services that have DRM-free files, such as eMule. I happen to have a coupon for that particular website. Email me for more information if you’re interested.

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