W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-media@w3.org > February 2013

Re: DRM nonsense

From: Florian Bösch <pyalot@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:59:15 +0100
Message-ID: <CAOK8ODhgNijJ5Lm9CwgAdWW6uAHcX6rLeXa_1M4Mx31h2fpweQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html-media@w3.org" <public-html-media@w3.org>
On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:39 PM, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:

> Nonetheless, the goal of DRM is basically to alter the balance between
> honesty and dishonesty.
Why do you think that breaking a DRM is about dishonesty. This is a
non-logical train of thought. You're making up arbitrary rules, and there
are perfectly legit reasons to break them. Not only that, there is a moral
imperative to break them in certain cases (as when the DRM makes it harder
or impossible for differently-abled people to consume the content, or for
public libaries, or for reasons of backup, or for reasons of fair use, and
so on).

> In theory, yes, all schemes can be broken, but once the trouble to find or
> use a break greatly exceeds its value, why bother?
The trouble to find the weak spot are on one person. Using what this person
produces, is no trouble at all. Any DRM breaking software can be written
once, and redistributed at no cost whatsoever.

> Many DRM schemes are attempting only to put a lock on the front door, not
> construct Fort Knox.  People who break in past the lock know they have done
> it, and may well leave traces that they have done it, and doing it may give
> them 'free' access to content that would only have cost them less than the
> cost of the break-in.
That's another of these completely illogical arguments. If somebody pays
you for a medium or content, you've already got the money. There is no
"free" in there. Consuming that content at your own discretion, in whatever
way you see fit, is what breaking a DRM is about.

People used to talk a lot about 'friction-free copying' -- it's way easier
> to copy an eBook than photocopy a paperback.  DRMs fundamentally add
> friction.
Of course, another one of these. People who care to copy that e-book simply
won't get it from you. They're gonna d/l it via bittorrent where somebody
is already seeding it. This "friction" you talk of, it only affects your
legitimate users. It doesn't affect any illegitimate users. DRM doesn't
make bittorrent harder to use. But it sure as hell makes your users life
harder. This is essence of what I call an "anti-feature". It's something
that adds no value whatsoever to what you sell. Yet it's also something
that solves no problem that you actually have. It's all smoke and mirrors.
It's red herring. Apple doesn't DRM because it fears its legitimate users
might rip it off, or it will lose sales if it doesn't. No, Apple does DRM
because it's a splendid way to lock people into their platform.
Received on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 21:59:42 UTC

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