There’s been a huge amount written and debated about DRM over the last few years. Mostly with reference to online music and video. There have been extreme views expressed both for and against DRM, and it can be a difficult debate to get involved with because views are so polarised. Today I’m going to take my own sceptical look at DRM and try and highlight some of the pitfalls and problems areas. And particularly where DRM is being over-hyped and over-sold. There’s certainly plenty to take issue with, but I want to tackle two areas in particular. To help highlight what those are, lets have a quick look at a couple of definitions of what DRM is.
What is DRM? “ a collective name for technologies that prevent you from using a copyrighted digital work beyond the degree to which the copyright owner (or a publisher who may not actually hold a copyright) wishes to allow you to use it” -- Michael Godwin, Digital Rights Management: A Guide For Librarians
What is DRM? Any technology used to protect the interests of owners of content and services (such as copyright owners). Typically, authorized recipients or users must acquire a license in order to consume the protected material—files, music, movies—according to the rights or business rules set by the content owner. -- Microsoft Security Glossary
The Two Goals of DRM Enabling New Business Models Stopping Unlicensed Usage
Enabling New Business Models Abandoning DRM now will unnecessarily doom all consumers to a "one size fits all" situation that will increase costs for many of them. -- Fred Amoroso, CEO Macrovision
The Real Challenges I would like nothing more than to have DRM technology just fade away. After all the main challenge we have in digital publishing is to get it adopted by mainstream consumers. And the main challenge 98% of book authors and publishers have is to get people to be aware of their books, not to prevent piracy. -- Bill McCoy - General Manager, ePublishing Business, Adobe