Not one of these systems has ever prevented piracy or illegal copying. When pressed, these entities will surely admit that this technology is not meant to be proof against a skilled attacker, but rather it is meant as a "speed bump" that works on "average users" to "keep honest users honest." If they are particularly disrespectful of 52 percent of the world's population, they might even tell you that this is the kind of thing that their mothers can't defeat.Link to BBC article, Link to my full quote (Thanks, Nick!)
But counterfeiting gangs who engage in "illegal copying" and "piracy" -- that is, the sophisticated criminal enterprises that operate in the former USSR and elsewhere to stamp out billions of fake CDs and DVDs -- are unfazed by these systems, because they are, in fact, sophisticated attackers. They are, in fact, not average users. This commercial piracy is the only activity that clearly displaces sales to the studios and the labels, and it is precisely this kind of piracy that DRM cannot prevent.
As to average users engaged in file-sharing, they, too, won't be foiled by this. Rather, they will be able to avail themselves of songs, movies and other media that have had their DRM removed by sophisticated users. They need not know how to hack the DRM wrappers off their music, they merely need to know how to search Google for copies where this has already happened.
And that is exactly what they will do: they will bring home lawfully purchased CDs and DVDs and try to do something normal, like watch it on their laptop, or move the music to their iPod, and they will discover that the media that they have bought has DRM systems in place to prevent exactly this sort of activity, because the studios and labels perceive an opportunity to sell you your media again and again -- the iPod version, the auto version, the American and UK version, the ringtone version, und zo weiter. Customers who try to buy legitimate media rather than downloading the unfettered DRM-free versions will be punished for their commitment to enriching the entertainment companies. That commitment will falter as a consequence.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.