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Do we need an open source DRM?

The question is, do we need it? Do we want it? Will you use it? Or is the open source movement at odds with the whole idea of a DRM?
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Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on
Sun has announced what it calls Project DReaM (the funny capitalization is intentional). The idea is to build an open source Digital Rights Management system.

The cynical response is that this is not really about open source at all. Sun has no real play in the DRM space. Microsoft has a popular DRM, Apple has a popular DRM, Sony has one (that's what its CD scandal was really all about) but Sun has none.

At Open Media Commons, Sun has published a set of specifications, including a media server, an API, and an interoperability framework. These are things COO Jonathan Schwartz first talked about back in August, but now we can see the meat on the bones.

The question is, do we need it? Do we want it? Will you use it? Or is the open source movement at odds with the whole idea of a DRM?

On the one hand it is legally impossible to enter the world of licensed content without a DRM, and as a writer whose work is copyrighted I should be sympathetic. On the other hand, DRM rules are generally opaque, and I am used to owning the content I buy, not having it licensed to me like software.

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