Monday, May 30, 2005

Rethinking DRM

I have my own open source projects and I release major works of my own under Creative Commons licenses. Think I am against all Digital Rights Management (DRM)? No, think again.

First, some good uses for DRM:
  • Apple's Music store - I am a happy customer and the DRM seems fair.
  • Some movies distributed on the Open Media Network require obtaining a free DRM access cookie from the publisher - why not? Most material on the OMN don't seem to use DRM, but I have enjoyed watching several Indy films that required a DRM cookie.
Sure, there are bad uses of DRM, for example:
  • Proposed PC hardware/bios changes that might make it impossible to install Linux.
I believe that owners of content should be allowed to release their own stuff under whatever license they choose. I do wish that more musicians, film makers, etc. would utilize the internet to distribute their works - but only if it makes sense for them individually. BTW: I would like express real respect for George Lucas for allowing Indy producers to create a very good non-commercial Indy Star Wars movie ("letting them play in his back yard") - check it out on OMN.

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