Monday, December 13, 2004

What is DRM? 

Almost every academic paper, press release for news article discussing digital Copyright has an introductory paragraph where it talks about DRM and TPMs-- that is, digital rights management and technological protection measures.

Well, I'm not going to write a new definition here, especially since most people that read this know more about it than I do. What I will say, though, is that we should at least call it what it is. From now on, I'm not going to talk about DRM or TPM, and instead use the term TCM, or Technological Control Measure. It gets rid of the need for the two existing terms, and has the added virtue of being a true and accurate description of the technology in question. Let's face it: encryption, water marking, etc. is all about controlling access to the related content in controlling who can copy that content. The recording industry talks about " protecting " content - but you don't protect things from your customers, you instead control how your customers use those things. it's time journalists, academics, consumers and technology users stop using the words the recording industry is putting in our mouths.

Next week, we will talk about what piracy actually is!

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