28.6.07

The Pro-DRM argument

Finaly, after all this long, advocating against DRM, I finaly found out not only one but two Pro-DRM persons. Hey, calm down, I'm not talking about those who don't care, or those who "I would prefer not to have it, but it doesn't pisses me off". I'm not talking about companies that use them "because it's better for US". Even the content industry knows that DRM is bad: let me remind you of a statement from a Disney executive:

'If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed'

Now, what I found amazing on these two is that they really believe that DRM is good and needed. The arguments that were presented in favour of DRM were, basicly, these:

  1. Actual implementations of DRM suck but future ones can be better

  2. DRM isn't "copy restriction" technology

  3. DRM represents Author's Rights

  4. You might be able to buy a DRM-free version, for an extra cost

  5. We must have a way to protect authors from piracy

  6. Even if there are no perfect systems, DRM is getting better

  7. Bad DRM implementations get rejected by users

  8. This Internet Era is making piracy to reach really scary levels

OK, take in consideration that these are just some of those arguments, and believe me (or, if you know how to read Portuguese, check for yourself) that all arguements were refuted. For these:

  1. "Better" means "less annoying". I don't want to be annoyed, at all

  2. That doesn't mean anything, if DRM is an annoying piece of technology

  3. DRM does not represents the Author's Rights - laws do. DRM enforces a set of rights and restrictions

  4. I don't want to pay extra to get what I should in the first place. DRM takes me some freedoms, and then those who put there the DRM try to sell me those freedoms? No, thanks!

  5. As a consumer, I don't have to do nothing. As a consumer, I just don't want to be restricted from my freedoms. As an author, I don't feel vulnerable to piracy, like most authors. Don't call the intermediaries as "authors".

  6. Better is not enough. If DRM restricts me, an "almost perfect" DRM restricts me only a tiny bit. So, I'm still being restricted from my rights, just because some companies want DRM. That's no good - my freedom is not for sale.

  7. Bad DRM implementations flood the marked, and restrict consumers. I don't care what is their lifetime, if it restricts one person, one time, one little bit, it's bad.

  8. Piracy is getting bigger - so what? It's not a consumer problem, so the consumer must not suffer from it. If some companies in the industry have problems with that, well, they have to deal with it. They just can't do that by messing up with consumer's freedoms.
And so the discussion went off, until the veridict came: the final issue. Since the discussion came to an end, and not with a quit but with a conclusion, and since the pro-DRM part is still pro-DRM, and the same for the anti-DRM counterpart, then there must be a conflict of beliefs, right? Right.

The big philosophical argument:
  • [Pro-DRM:] Às vezes deve pagar o justo pelo pecador - roughly translated to "sometimes those without sins must pay for the sins of others";
  • [Anti-DRM:] I don't care about the sins of the others, I don't want to pay with my freedom because of them!



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