Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Are DRM's a red herring?

first, let's start with some statements we know are true:

1) No DRM will properly protect content from being hacked by users who have access to the media itself

2) Once freed from its DRM protections, content will be spread rapidly through the Internet by means of peer-to-peer systems.

3) DRM will eliminate most fair use and fair dealing rights under the Copyright Acts of various countries, because the people making DRM want it that way, and because no computer program can apply the flexible fair dealing and fair use test to any given set of facts like a judge can.

My question is this: why are we so worried about how DRM will destroy fair use and fair dealing if users will be able to easily crack the protecting code?

Of course, the answer is that while many consumer-level uses will still be available by illegally cracking DRM, many above-board uses will not be able to publicly make use of fair dealing rights by illegally cracking DRM ( if cracking DRM was actually illegal).

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