The EFF chimes in on Sun's DRM scheme

Summary:I touched on Sun's DRM plans earlier this week, so I thought I'd throw in this release from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). It looks like the EFF takes a dim view of Sun's so-called "Open Media Commons.

I touched on Sun's DRM plans earlier this week, so I thought I'd throw in this release from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). It looks like the EFF takes a dim view of Sun's so-called "Open Media Commons."

"No one woke up this morning and said, 'I wish Sun would figure out a way to let me do less with my music and movies,'" said Cory Doctorow, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's European Affairs Coordinator. "DRM doesn't sell hardware, software, or movies. The only reason to build DRM is to trade your users' freedoms for a bit of favor from the entertainment companies, a promise that they'll generously allow your record player to play their records -- provided it meets with their approval. If Sun wants to ship technology that competes with Microsoft DRM, it should start by asserting that copyright holders never get to design the record players their records play on."

...Using "commons" in the name is unfortunate, because it suggests an online community committed to sharing creative works. DRM systems are about restricting access and use of creative works. A better way to protect the public's ability to make fair use of their media is to support the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA, HR 1201). That bill would permit people to circumvent DRM on media in order to make a legal use of that media.

I didn't really address this the other day, but I agree with Doctorow and the EFF -- Sun should be a bit less Orwellian and give their DRM project a name more fitting to a technology or set of technologies intended to cripple the users' ability to use media.

Topics: Oracle

About

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is the community manager for openSUSE, a community Linux distro sponsored by Novell. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist primarily covering the Linux and FOSS beat, and wrote for a number of publications, such as Linux Magazine, Linux.com, Sys Admin, UnixReview.com, IBM developer... Full Bio

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