Friday, March 24, 2006

Lessig on DRM

A rather disturbing development: Lawrence Lessig, champion of free culture, offers a wierd, quasi-endorsement of DRM. Read the post at his blog, and read the comments that follow.

Here is what David Berry wrote on the Libre Society Mailing List:

"Lessig seems very naive to me here. The DRM instead of being embedded is merely transferred to a rights server. Thus the client, although open-source open-standards blah blah blah can only unlock the presumably encrypted content using a key linked to the meta-DRM data in the file. So how is this helping fair-use? How does this guarantee an 'ecology for creativity'? It just means that DRM can be implemented on open-source systems unproblematically and opens the door to truly ubiquitous DRM-everywhere.?

If anything this is the killer-app for wide ranging DRM systems as now even free software/open-source will not stand in the way of DRM implementation as the kernel of encryption/decryption has been moved away from the client and placed safely within the boundaries of the corporation licensing. It just seems to me like a public/private key encryption system (similar to email) that allows the content industry to convince open-source developers to get onboard.?

I suppose the devil is in the detail, so the question is what stands in the way of the open-source developers taking the now decrypted content and just saving it off as an MP3 or whatever? Certainly the level of invasion of privacy by this system which licenses to the user identity and continually watches how they 'consume' content is a bit weird.?"


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