The Economist: Writing is on the Wall for Copy Protection

DVDeconomist.jpgThe UK-based Economist has a great article about digital rights management (DRM) called “Criminalizing the Consumer.”

It’s an easy-to-read history of copy protection, as well as how it applied to making mix tapes way back when, and where’s it’s headed now — hopefully, the garbage bin.

From the article: “Belatedly, music executives have come to realize that DRM simply doesn’t work. It is supposed to stop unauthorized copying, but no copy-protection system has yet been devised that cannot be easily defeated. All it does is make life difficult for paying customers, while having little or no effect on clandestine copying plants that churn out pirate copies.” (The clichéd-but-true “locks only keep honest people honest” argument.)

Now the same is due to happen to the video market, according to The Economist. As always, this all has tremendous implications for mobile media. Since today’s phones can hold four gigabytes of data on a single card (enough for hours of video or a thousand songs), and many phones come with built-in music and video players, we could buy music or movies and then take them with us wherever we wanted.

That is, if there was no longer any copy protection.

Criminalizing the Consumer [The Economist]