I would not like to have my work ‘stolen’ by anyone whatsoever, neither would I also want to use that excuse to restrict almost all the rights of my consumers. A medium between the two extremes is the only solution to preventing the rampant theft of intellectual property. DRM does not work and will never will. Do you think DRM is the solution to stopping the piracy scourge? Let’s discuss this issue further.
Ara Technica, citing a Freedom to Tinker blog post, has an interesting article about a research that-albeit some caveats- makes some really important points about the relationship between the level of restriction in an intellectual property and the level to which it is shared illegally, chiefly over Bittorrent.
To sum things up, the research discovered that digital media like movies and music that contained DRM were highly pirated than their non-DRMd counterparts. To quote Ars Technica
“So, people largely use P2P to pirate stuff—big surprise. It’s the types of files and in what ratios that show us why people share media illegally, however. Music was once the only reason to use P2P networks, and the record industry long feared that going DRM-free would only aid in a massive explosion of illegal file sharing.
“That has obviously not been the case—P2P users can now share their DRM-free MP3s easier than ever, and yet this category is one of the smallest of all files shared. And it makes sense: why would you bother going to BitTorrent, which may have misnamed and poorly encoded MP3s, when you could easily spend less than a dollar, getting exactly what you want from a place that you trust?”
And it sure does make sense, don’t you think? You buy a music tune full of DRM, the medium with which you use it for one reason or the other is no more then keeping that track becomes a criminal act. Well then I would resort to P2P where the file will be mine forever without any draconian restrictions whatsoever.
I am of the view that intellectual property be given the due respect by all and sundry. However, the owners of intellectual property should not use their positions to actually seek to imprison their consumers. DRM is among the greatest threat to technology and innovation in the 21st century. If anything is to go by, the recent iPad from Apple is a testimony to the level to which consumers are gradually being turned into robotic cash machines for big businesses.