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January 16th, 2007:

DRM is not for stopping piracy…

In an article in ARS Technica (
we find the headline “Privately, Hollywood admits DRM isn’t about piracy”.

This is a very telling article showing what we have been thinking all along, Hollywood studios execs knows a lot about greed and avarice [An excessive or inordinate desire of gain; greediness for wealth].

It is one thing to mass produce illegal copies of movies for profit, quite another to watch a DVD movie when and where you decide. As we see the studios want to not only have a say of when and where you watch your legally obtained DVD, but actually control it.

For example I never believed that CD sale went down because of piracy. Besides from organized mass piracy, the people who does most of the copying are students, known for being poor. People who cannot afford to buy a lot, but with a great interest in music.

The smart thing to do is to get people educated and used to listening to music. Make it easy so that when they enter the profitable part of their life, they are already avid music lovers. I loved the idea of being able to discover some new music online and go out and buy the CD. Now you don’t dare looking for music. Subsequently I don’t buy any. I listen to radio and my existing collection instead.

When Napster hit the world sales of CDs went up, not down. When Napster went down so did CD sales.

But avarice seem to have this side effect of not being able to see clearly. Even if it is staring you in the face. So rather than fostering music lovers they sue pre-teens and senior citizens for tens of thousand dollars and use scare tactics to make them settle out of court.

Having big dollars makes it possible to go after average people who usually have no possibility to mount an effective defense. Their only hope is to settle out of court.

That turns out to be their only safe way of making money as they are rapidly discovering that the courts are starting to notice that they don’t actually have any good evidence that the alleged pirate IS a pirate. They have only gotten this far by screaming foul play and playing on lawmakers dislike of crime. In reality one might successfully argue that the real criminals may very well be the ones doing the suing.

MPAA head Jack Valenti actually lobbied to have the discretion to erase your hard drive if they detected foul play. We know what disaster that would have been as they have a very high rate of false detections.

Just look at Microslob, eh soft, ability to turn out safe software. They want you to trust them to manage what you run on your computer. To make sure nothing illegal occurs. Feel like a criminal yet? If you create people like criminals you will get more criminals. Again, blinded by avarice.

Never mind someone breaking through their “safety” schemes and taking over your computer.

The only way these things get a hold in society is because people are in general naive and too lazy to pay attention. There was a group lobbying for ten years for something which turns out to be quite insane like the ability to pick up anyone off the street for drug treatments. But after ten years a government was ready to let it pass because “they have tried for so long” and felt sorry for them.

Fortunately some people who cared discovered what was about to happen and managed to stop it by running a hard campaign educating the senators what they were about to pass.

We will be abused as long as we are ignorant and uncaring about each other. Usually all it takes is for someone to stand up and say something to open a door for a handling. But too many people just look the other way. A good saying goes something like “The price of freedom is the constant alertness and willingness to fight back”. Don’t let 9/11 or lazy ignorance turn this into a police state. Stand up and do something about it!