The big DRM mistake


Digital Rights Managements hurts paying customers, destroys Fair Use rights, renders customers' investments worthless, and can always be defeated. Why are consumers and publishers being forced to use DRM?

One of my favorite magazines is The New Yorker. I've been reading it for years, and it never fails to impress me with its vast subject matter, brilliant writing, and the depth, wit, and attention it brings to important matters. When it was announced over a year ago that The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine would be released on eight DVDs, I immediately put in my pre-order. After it arrived, I took out the first DVD and stuck it in my Linux box, expecting that I could start looking at the collected issues.

No dice. The issues were available as DjVu files. No problem; there are DjVu readers for Linux, and it's an open format. Yet none of them worked. It turned out that The New Yorker added DRM to their DjVu files, turning an open format into a closed, proprietary, encrypted format, and forcing consumers to install the special viewer software included on the first DVD. Of course, that software only works on Windows or Mac OS X, so Linux users are out of luck (and no, it doesn't work under WINE ... believe me, I tried).
The big DRM mistake

Linked by shanmuga Thursday, 2nd March 2006 1:31AM