Comments: Ann Livermore at HP.. On DRM

If you are really concerned about the indiscriminate use of content control systems one of the first things you can to to change the debate is to stop using the industry's misleading terms. Digital Rights Restriction technologies don't allow consumers to manage anything, so it is important not to perpetuate misleading terms like "DRM".

Content control systems are designed to limit the ways consumers can use media--not to empower consumers. Such limits are accurately described as restrictions, especially when they effectively prevent uses that are legal, including the right to resell copyrighted material as protected by the Doctrine of First Sale. Only when the content industry and electronics companies correctly call Digital Rights Restriction as such can we honestly debate what existing rights we are willing to give up for the lure of supposedly lower prices that DRR technology is touted as being necessary for.

We need a public debate about Digital Right Restrictions, but we'll never get one as long as we fall for using misleading euphemisms like "management" for technology that limits our rights.

Posted by Scote at March 22, 2005 12:38 PM

I agree with the previous comment. By all means let's do some talking.

But Mary, your comment about the old value chain and its problems makes me think that we should look a little closer before we throw out baby, bathwater, bathtub, etc. It's true that there's a good deal of inefficiency and uneven distribution of power in the traditional content provider, paying consumer model. But even in that regime, authors, students, and scholars, were free to make a personal contact and negotiate specific terms of "fair use", or anything else, for that matter. The intermediaries were people, not just organizations (I'm not defending the stupid behavior).

DRM software is simply not equipped to negotiate anything. And for me this is the most disturbing element. Computers are great, but they don't know squat about me, or what I do, or why I do it, or where I'm headed. So computers can't be the intermediaries. If there are going to be any intermediaries at all, they need to be humans. Or else the negotiations need to move out to edges (where the people are) and away from the middle.

Posted by Bill Anderson at March 24, 2005 11:43 AM

What they said. [;<).

Posted by orcmid at March 24, 2005 01:30 PM