p2pnet news view | DRM:- Apple is DRM. DRM is Apple.
It has ever been thus, and ever more will be so.
And they both equal CRAP.
DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) consumer control could be better termed Content, Restriction, Annulment, and Protection, ZDNet executive editor David Berlind once said.
He was talking about Apple because, “Once you`ve bought music or other content to play on one device, it won`t play on any other device because of the proprietary layer of CRAP.”
The Free Software Foundation’s Richard Stallman modified CRAP to “Cancellation, Restriction, and Punishment”.
But DRM is sess aitch eye tee by any construct. And it’s totally useless by any definition.
Anything which can be seen or heard can be copied by one digital or analog means or another.
Several times in the past Apple has claimed to have ditched it in one way or another, the most recent being reports by the lamescream media that the company had, “cut deals that will finally enable iTunes to offer songs free of copy protection software from the three largest music labels, according to two sources close to the negotiations,” as CNET News dressed it up.
It, “could prove to be a death blow for the music industry`s attempts to control how consumers buy and listen to music,” says the Globe and Mail.
Death blow? Hardly.
And the newest claims are just as crappy as the old ones.
Apple’s No More DRM announcement, “comes nearly a year after Amazon.com’s DRM-free MP3 deals went live, demonstrating that the record labels were holding the DRM card until they could wring business concessions from Apple (in the form of variable pricing),” says Richard Esguerra in the EFF’s Deep Links, going on »»»
This just underscores that DRM is not really about stopping piracy, but rather about leverage over authorized distributors.
In fact, an inventory of Apple’s remaining DRM armory makes it vividly clear that DRM (backed by the DMCA) is almost always about eliminating legitimate competition, hobbling interoperability, and creating de facto technology monopolies:
- Apple uses DRM to lock iPhones to AT&T and Apple’s iTunes App Store;
- Apple uses DRM to prevent recent iPods from syncing with software other than iTunes (Apple claims it violates the DMCA to reverse engineer the hashing mechanism);
- Apple claims that it uses DRM to prevent OS X from loading on generic Intel machines;
- Apple’s new Macbooks feature DRM-laden video ports that only output certain content to “approved” displays;.
- Apple requires iPod accessory vendors to use a licensed “authentication chip” in order to make accessories to access certain features on newer iPods and iPhones;
- The iTunes Store will still lock down movies and TV programs with FairPlay DRM;
- Audiobook files purchased through the iTunes Store will still be crippled by Audible’s DRM restrictions.
The majority of these DRM efforts do not have even an arguable relation to “piracy.” And even where things like movies and audiobooks are concerned, DRM is not only futile, but will likely be counter-productive, making the “legitimate” alternative less attractive than the Darknet options.
This week’s announcement is another step in the meltdown of DRM for music. But it is also a stark reminder that Apple remains at the forefront of employing DRM to shove competitors to the fringes and wrest control out of the hands of users.
No need to stay tuned.
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