DRM: Media Companies' Next Flop?

Unattributed, CNet News.com, Feb 01, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Just another day in the online battles over digital rights management (DRM) and copyright. This article warns of the danger that customers will be lost because of DRM. "A few more incidents like Sony's 'rootkit' flap and consumers may revolt." Signs of that revolt are already evident. Newspapers have handled it so badly they are being called dead. And they are. But still, they continue to misunderstand the market, accusing Google of exploiting their content, and want to be de-indexed. Fine. Let them go, disappear from sight, and die. Movie studios, meanwhile, are busy ending the longstanding tradition of college screenings. We are reaching an end-point in this battle, and the tactics will intensify from here. While the industry is earning some wins in their attacks on consumers, they are losing more and more ground, which artists themselves beginning to understand what's going on. Commercial content is on the verge of being replaced. Specialized - and proprietary - high-end online content is the industry's last gasp. It won't work. The last gasp will see attempts to destroy the integrity of the net itself, to return to privileged (and monopolistic) channels. This is where we are today - these links are all stories from today. And the battle continues.
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