New DRM promises to appease users and media giants

By Justin Mann on October 23, 2008, 11:49 AM
The debates for and against DRM continue relentlessly, with the people on one side and the media companies on the other. Huge companies have demonstrated how willing they are to put restrictive, even oppressive DRM into their software, regardless of how ineffective it is. The majority of customers, or at least the majority of those with a voice, strongly oppose DRM. Very few compromises have been made in this fight.

What if, however, a company promised the “best” of both worlds? What if they supposedly had a DRM package that didn't restrict user rights but at the same time gave the media companies what they want? That's what a relatively new open-source DRM package claims to do, saying that this new generation of DRM not only lets customers keep their “rights” but still “protects” the content. They claim that the result of DRM failing so badly in many other environments (Walmart's music store, Microsoft's media servers, et cetera) is because of how opaque the systems are. Make them more transparent, Marlin claims, and the user will embrace it.

But will they? The new DRM scheme, backed by Sony and Samsung, relies on licensing to get the job done. So, no matter which way you look at it, you're still utilizing a third party to grant access to content you've already paid for. No matter what claims the company makes, the bottom line is that consumers dislike DRM because ultimately it puts them in a powerless position. Not to mention that with a partner like Sony, they might have some trouble convincing the world that they are really seeking to protect the users’ rights.

User Comments: 3

Got something to say? Post a comment
bun-bun said:
Quote from article"The biggest problem with DRM is people have implemented it badly," argues Shamoon. "Make DRM invisible and people will use it." I agree with the first part but strongly disagree with the last part.I agree that DRM lately has been implemented badly... that is obvious and completely moot.However makeing DRM invisible will not solve any problems. I still have to have a Marlin enabled device. I still have to have an internet connection to get keys. It doesn't solve anything. It just takes the same old thing and puts a prettier face behind it though even that is subject to scrunity.
9Nails said:
I'd have to agree.Using Steam as an example, I like the flexibility that their software offers me on installation. It also maintains update for me. And I understand that there might be new features that allow my saved games and settings to carry from computer to computer. But all these features are not without detract ions. The problems that I have are:1. If Steam ever disappears, so does my software.2. "Phone Home" software invades my privacy.3. EULA protecting the business and not the customer, is now enforced by DRM software.4. Steam takes a footprint in my RAM and disk.
Rick said:
[quote]What if they supposedly had a DRM package that didn't restrict user rights but at the same time gave the media companies what they want?[/quote]This is impossible, or least practically so. Sadly, this 'news' is pretty over-sensational... I mean come on, it is called DRM because it is DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT. You can't tell me that it doesn't restrict my rights because that is exactly what it is supposed to do.DRM can be less intrusive than it is? Sure.But as mentioned above, if the company that controls the DRM goes under, you have problems. If you change equipment, lose your subscription etc.. you have problems. It's extra hassle that unprotected media does not have. I make backups of all of my discs and copy my movies to my DVR - why shouldn't I be able to do this? DRM limits or totally prevents these things from happening.IMO, if you buy the media, it should work for YOU. You shouldn't have to work for IT. [quote]"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." -- Benjamin Franklin (paraphrased) [/quote]The whole point of DRM is STOP you from doing things with it. As long as there is control, not everyone is going to be happy.
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.