I’m getting really tired of the seemingly unstoppable DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) machine, backed by the mega-corporate media empires and their allies in the big technology companies. The latest lunacy is HDMI which uses Intel’s HDCP copy protection system to prevent you from making digital copies of movies and TV shows.
Copy prevention measures have uniformly failed at great expense and inconvenience to customers who eventually pay for these boondoggles. So why do we have things like CSS and HDCP and the DMCA? There seem to be two reasons:
- squeezing customers for every last penny, eventually moving to a completely pay-per-use model where ownership of a book or CD is a fond memory; and
- creating barriers to entry that protect the media conglomerates from any effective price competition (e.g. Magnatune) so they can gouge their customers and the artists they supposedly represent.
Richard Stallman did a great job describing the consequences of this short-sighted corporate greed.