Anti-Apple DRM sentiment rising

Anti-Apple DRM sentiment rising

Summary: Brad King who writes about emerging technology and culture for MIT's Technology Review is speaking out against Apple's digital restrictions [sic] management (DRM) strategy:...Jobs' deal with the entertainment industry and its DRM practices are bad for consumers....


Brad King who writes about emerging technology and culture for MIT's Technology Review is speaking out against Apple's digital restrictions [sic] management (DRM) strategy:

...Jobs' deal with the entertainment industry and its DRM practices are bad for consumers....[having to hack DRM to DVD-ize TV recordings] is not what really, really sticks in my craw. I reserve that (possibly irrational) anger for the iPod and iTunes, two music products that are so restrictive in their licensing and user set-ups that I have never been able to bring myself to download the software to purchase music through iTunes or pony up the cash to by an iPod....Jobs has, by and large, become a proxy for the music and movie industries in the continual eroding of consumer rights in a digital age. And -- for everyone who shells out their hard-earned money for the latest and greatest gadget -- you've all fallen for it.

What's unfortunate about King's original post is that he had to start off by apologizing because he knew his opinion wouldn't be very popular with the Apple crowd.  What's even more unfortunate is that due to the comments he received, he apparently had to update his entry with an even more fleshed out defense of his position.  It's proof to me that a lot of people are so star-struck by Apple's offerings (or Jobs, or Bono) that they're willing to do more than just turn a blind eye to the havoc being wrought on consumers.  In a merger of forces with the dark side, they're willing to defend it too.  How sad. Perhaps King's closing thought more eloquently cuts to the chase of my sheeple blog:

..what really gets to me is that I think all of the Apple users around the planet know this already, but simply have stopped caring -- and I can't figure out why. However, I think I may have figured it out, thanks to one unnamed person who said to me: "Yes, but the iPod is so cute."

So, to Brad, welcome to the good fight (where you're standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Cory Doctorow, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's John Gilmore, and Doc Searls... see his posting from CES where DRM is at this very moment  being irretrievably driven into our rights like a wooden stake).  There's no need to apologize.  Those people owe you an apology and will probably do so when they finally realize the seeds they've sown.  We can use more voices like yours calling out to the masses from the respected techno-campuses in Cambridge and other locales.  Written with no apologies. 

Topic: Apple

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  • Why single out Apple?

    At the risk of being labeled a "fanboy", why should he (or
    anyone) single out Apple? Isn't all DRM something we should be
    fighting against? Isn't Apple's DRM a lot more benign and a lot
    less restrictive than that offered by many other companies?

    Has King "ever been able to bring himself to download" the
    software necessary to buy other DRMed content?

    Steve Jobs himself has said that he doesn't think DRM will ever
    work. It's pretty clear that the only reason Apple includes it is
    because they'd be unable to license the music without it. Note
    that they didn't (and still haven't) gone after JHymn.
    tic swayback
  • ColdPizza

    Groklaw has done a tremendously funny parody of the Terms and Conditions enforced upon the new ColdPlay album that prevents listeners from ever actually getting to hear the music:
    tic swayback
  • Apple is a religion

    You're not allowed to speak ill of them. Simple as that.
    • Obviously you don't read many Mac websites

      Spend a week reading Macintouch, it's filled with people
      complaining about their machines and Apple's software. Go read
      Apple's user forums, they're filled with complaints as well.

      Aren't you guys tired of spreading the same old cliches. Hey, guess
      what, I heard that all Linux users have beards and live in their
      parents' basements. And all Windows users are clueless sheep.
      Gee, that is super fun.
      tic swayback
  • Well, I sorta agree

    Let's face it, how many of us LIKE DRM? I don't like DRM, but DRM, in its various incarnations, is a fact of life. In the future, it maybe even more so. Apple's iTunes DRM setup is fairly liberal when you look at what all you can do with the content... making tons of audio cds from iTunes-encrypted songs is a breeze. I'm still kind of amazed how relatively lax the DRM for iTunes actually is. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need DRM, but companies have the right to do whatever they want to do with their content. I didn't write/create one song that is available on the iTunes store, so I have ZERO say over how the music (content) is handled. I didn't write the Harry Potter books, so I can't dictate the digital version's DRM. I can either accept the DRM and its license and use the content, or I can choose not to buy the content.

    If you want to change the world of DRM, it's easy... don't buy DRM content. I support artists all the time from Magnatune, and other sources of music that has ZERO DRM. What I am tired of hearing is this stupid call for 'all DRM to end.' Wake up and smell the harsh world of commercial art. DRM, at least to some companies and artists, give them some sort of control over content they own/create. Let the market deal with DRM, and hopefully, one day, we will see a DRM-free iTunes. Until then, learn to live with reality.

    Mitch Featherston
    mitch featherston
    • Read Doc Searls' CES blog Post

      If Doc is right what they are proposing would require anything created on the device to be laden with DRM. The Artist/Creator won't have a choice.

      And yes the consumer does have rights written into copyright law or rather, at least in the US 9Other countries specifically call them refer to them as consumer rights) the right holder is limited in both scope and exceptions are made so the consumer may practice those rights. The problem with DRM is that it allows the rights holder to exempt and trump the rights which they are either restricted from or never had.

      These aren't just fair use rights but also doctrine of first sale and effective never ending copyright regimes due to the material being DRMed and its against the law to break the DRM even if the copyright has expired- That is actually in the rulings in the MGM Studio v 321 Studios case.
      Edward Meyers
  • You must really love MS, Sony and Real

    So what your say is that it better to rent and own nothing or to buy
    and own something. I'll pose this question simple "What is 'open'
    about Windows Media? About Sony Connect? About Real? Nothing.
    I hope your next post is more balanced.