August 02, 2005

Computing Freedom

DRM. Digital Rights Management. The one word that's meant to protect the rights of the publisher, at the cost of the consumer. It is a scheme that employs cryptographic measures to prevent people from copying/distributing media content, especially music.
What DRM can do for you:
  • You'll be asked to Pay-per-use of music, video, software that you already bought.
  • Allows the content producer to disable your rights to the published content through hardware measures, including permanent hardware disability, any time they wish to. Which means the music you bought, or the DVD your purhased may not be usable tomorrow, whenever the producer decides to do so.
  • Discourages indie content publishers from making content, because of the royalty involved. Which means sending people the video you shot or the music you composed or the software you wrote could cost you a fortune.
  • Curbing the freedom of the consumer, and milking him, by pushing him to pay a lot of money for a commercial service, though an alternate free service may be available. The latter may not be functional once the DRM comes in.
  • The law might, in the view of protecting the producers may enforce mandatory DRM, which means that your old DVD player or PC might become illegal, and owning it might equal a criminal offense.
  • The rights of the conniving capitalistic regime, who have the money to make content VS The rights of people like you and me.

And now, after Slashdottin', I read this article today, on Apple implementing a protective system (called TCPA) on their new hardware. Which means that the customer may not be able to install free operating systems like Linux, FreeBSD or Solaris and may be forced to BUY and install OS X or Windows Vista. This doesn't stop here. The customer might be forced into buying propreitary hardware, software and services by the respective hardware vendors.

And the vendors have made it very clear.
Make hardware to run only DRM enabled software. Make software run only on DRM hardware.

Which means that all future software, with futiristic capabilities, advanced features, and all the goodies will be signed with a DRM-2048-bit-key and will only work on DRM-enabled hardware, and not on your current PC or Mac. And those who fail to realise this shall purchase a new DRM-enabled PC or Mac, hence killing all the independant hardware/software manufacturers, in the quest for relishing the state-of-art in today's technology.

Which again proves my point. The system is BOGUS. A damn cruel, selfish scheme meant to quash the competition, using unfair oligopolistic means and political muscle. Do you want to lose your consumer freedom? Think again. Voice your opinion. Fight for freedom.

Against TCPA!