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

Re: DRM nonsense

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:15:18 -0500
Message-id: <BAD41E60-548D-4C1C-9ADF-6C926393FAAF@apple.com>
To: "public-html-media@w3.org" <public-html-media@w3.org>
Please, your rhetorical style is overdone.  Could you tone it down a little?

On Feb 12, 2013, at 16:59 , Florian Bösch <pyalot@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

Because that is why the copyright owners go to all that trouble; they want to be remunerated for their work (not unreasonable), and they want it to be easier to be honest than not.

You seem to have some other motivation for DRM in mind.  But you don't seem to state it; could you?

> 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).

Almost any distribution method makes some legitimate acts hard.  It's legitimate for me to lend my books to my family in the UK, for example, but a total pain in the neck to ship them.

> 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.

You have a different model of what happens when content is unprotected than many creators and owners of content, I am afraid.  I don't think we should be telling them how to run their businesses.

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.

Received on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 22:15:48 UTC

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