DRM Does More Harm Than Good

DRM Does More Harm Than Good

Apple knows where it is at. As far back as 2007, Steve Jobs was stating DRM did not prevent piracy. (Source: http://timnovo.wordpress.com)

When Napster came along and made P2P file sharing a norm, the music industry introduced DRM to counter the upswing in what they labelled as piracy. Digital Rights Management is the set of restrictions imposed on digital content so as to prevent users from infringing its copyrights. We have all come across DRM in one way, shape or form. Be it restrictions on the number of times you can burn music tracks to CD or region locked DVDs.

However a new study from researchers in Duke and Rice University titled "Music Downloads and the Flip Side of Digital Rights Management Protection" has come to the conclusion that DRM fails in its primary task of protecting the copyright and preventing piracy. The paper goes on to state that DRM causes hassles for simple procedures such as making backups of your media collection, and hence, may even drive paying customers to piracy.

Seeing that even the most sophisticated of encryption and encoding can be broken eventually, content will be pirated if there are those who want to do so. With portable devices such as smartphones and tablets being adopted in large numbers, users will want to copy and share their own, paid-for and legal media content across their tech eco-system which certain DRMs do not allow. Obviously this would lead them to find their content from alternate sources which are not hard to access or use. 

Perhaps it is time that the content providers started looking at actual, feasible ways to end piracy rather. An online store with DRM free content provided at competitive prices would be a nice start.

Source: Rice University (via Engadget and Torrent Freak)


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