DRM versus innovation

Discuss

13 Responses to “DRM versus innovation”

  1. lyd says:

    “On a probabilistic analysis, fewer potential innovation
    opportunities lowers the chances of success (however defined).”

    I was enjoying the read until this sentence. I think I need to go lie down now.

  2. sfreader says:

    Howdy,
    A better place to find the paper is http://works.bepress.com/wendy_seltzer/1/ as the link in the article requires javascript to download and I hope most people here are not foolish enough to enable javascript.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If someone made a website that looked exactly like boingboing, but with a slightly different name, and then copied all your content everyday and posted it on their site and claimed they wrote it, would you support their right to do so, or would you claim infringement of copyright?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’ve run across a number of websites that republish all or part of the BB feed under their own banner.

      College Humor’s games section is called Bleep Bloop. Check out the Bleep Bloop logo in one of their videos.

      We’re mellow.

  4. Revolucent says:

    I think there are two fundamental issues here. (1) Is DRM good or bad, all things considered? and (2) Do content creators have the right to use DRM if they wish?

    I’m not an expert on the consequences of DRM, so I can’t comment on (1), except to say that I don’t like DRM.

    However, the answer to (2) is clearly yes. Not everything that’s bad should be prohibited. Let DRM win or lose in the marketplaces of commerce and ideas. I think it will lose on its own without the need for more government. (I’m not suggesting that everyone opposed to DRM is attempting to ban it. Some are, some aren’t, and some are implying it.)

    • sabik says:

      I think there are two fundamental issues here. (1) Is DRM good or bad, all things considered? and (2) Do content creators have the right to use DRM if they wish?

      I’m not an expert on the consequences of DRM, so I can’t comment on (1), except to say that I don’t like DRM.

      Perhaps if you read the linked article, you might become a little more informed?

      However, the answer to (2) is clearly yes. Not everything that’s bad should be prohibited.

      However, things that are bad should not be mandated or otherwise supported by laws.

      Generally, it’s not the technology itself that’s a problem; that’s relatively easy to fix (though it may be tedious). The major part of the problem is the combination with ill-conceived laws and treaties. In some cases, market effects can also be problematic, for instance with the DVD CCA (which has monopoly control over DVD and Blue-ray video players).

      It’s when disruptive or user-led innovation by law requires permission from incumbents that the harmful effects are the worst.

  5. Tweeker says:

    [i]Let DRM win or lose in the marketplaces of commerce and ideas. I think it will lose on its own without the need for more government. [/i]

    The point of DRM is to avoid being subjected to normal market forces through the force of law. Its the government which makes it have any real effect at all (by making circumvention illegal, thus barring most disruption by legitimate parties.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: drm only having power b/c of government intervention, thus creating a distortion in the market -

      To be fair, all forms of ip protection (copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret) are both a) government created/enforced and b) create market distortions (by limiting entrance by others).

      If you want a truly free market with no government distortions, then drm is not the problem…ip protection is.

      Few people (not even creative commons, lessig, et al) advocate for a complete elimination of ip. Sometimes I feel that drm rants are really just anti-ip rants which are too chicken to admit it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think there are two fundamental issues here. (1) Is DRM good or bad, all things considered? and (2) Do content creators have the right to use DRM if they wish?

    1) DRM is neither good nor bad. There are some markets where it is value adding (medical records?), and some (many more) markets where it is not value adding.

    DRM does not add any value to the final customer. Would you pay extra for something that decreases the value you get from a product? Would you pay extra for a bicycle if it came with a lock around the wheels (a lock to which you were not allowed to have the key)? OR would you simply avoid the product in the marketplace and look for alternatives to purchase — a bicycle with no lock or media files with no DRM? This is why DRM will fail in the marketplace, and the only thing keeping it from failing is government legislation.

    But would you pay a bit more if your medical records could be kept private and those documents better controlled? Many people would.

    There are a few instances where DRM might add value (medical records) and for these reasons the government should neither ban it nor afford it legal protection. But DRM adds no value in the consumer marketplace.

    2) The creators do have the right to choose how they want to distribute their work. Should they choose to choose the route of exclusively distributing via wax cylinders, go right ahead. Just as long as they understand that the market for wax cylinders is smaller than the market for other formats.

  7. Mitch says:

    Anonymous, if you paid for access to a website under terms that only allowed that web site to be viewed with on proprietary browser on one kind of computer, with the threat of legal action against anyone who developed a different browser for you to view the web site you paid for, would you feel that you were being treated fairly as a consumer?

    Oh, there’s always the rationalization that if you know you’re going to get screwed before you buy something then it’s ok for you to get screwed.

    • mdh says:

      You mean like Netflix? B/c I can’t ever get their online service to work other than on a MS based PC running explorer, and I have a mac.

      So…. I stopped being a customer without ever once being self-righteous about how my needs weren’t being met by a service I misunderstood when I signed up for it.

      caveat emptor.

  8. dainel says:

    DRM can also cheat the buyer. There are stuff that’s tied down to the device you download it into. You’re supposed to be able to “unregister” the stuff from your old machine and transfer it to another (or you simply need to reinstall your OS). The DRMed stuff is sold to you (sold, not rented), but 5 years on, the company goes bust, the authorization server goes down …

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