[linux-elitists] DRM and user rights

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Tue Dec 30 11:21:35 PST 2003

For the first time, a DRM organization is mentioning user rights.
Leonardo Chiariglione is back in the spotlight:


On the one hand, it's an important admission that DRM schemes have
public policy consequences.  If this establishes a precedent for
future DRM proposals, it could make some conversations happen before
the jump into new formats that now happen afterward.

(_Consumer Reports_, for example, is amazingly, blissfully unaware
of the functionality that DRM takes away from devices it reviews.
Watching CR review media devices is like watching cattle review
slaughterhouse ramps for non-slip planks and secure guardrails.
I'm surprised EFF hasn't sent at least a small clue their way.)

But back to Leonardo's conference.  On the other hand, it could
be a big problem, since it threatens to legitimize DRM by fixing
some of the easiest-to-explain problems DRM creates for freedom,
while leaving longer-term problems untouched.

Right now, nobody can say anything serious in a DRM-covered medium,
because the Dead Media Effect, the DMCA, or both will make it
disappear unless the copyright holder decides to reissue it.

DRM is for the latest disposable bits, not for anything you want to
put into the public record.  Putting the trappings of respectability
on DRM is scary.

Don Marti
http://zgp.org/~dmarti                      Learn Linux and free software 
dmarti@zgp.org                        from the experts in California, USA 

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