New DRM promises to appease users and media giantsBy Justin Mann
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.