Sunday, July 27, 2008

Digital Rights Managment

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately as I've run into some difficulties regarding different DRM (digital rights management) schemes. The latest bit with yahoo shutting down their DRM based system and now talking about refunding customers brings forward the whole who owns what issue.

If I purchase a song, be it, an LP, 8-track, CD, or from an online or other source, what are my rights? Do I have a right to enjoy that music/movie/other for the rest of my life? I think so, but DRM means that if the Company that sold it to me has financial trouble, or just chooses to turn off their DRM systems, I lose that right.

Perhaps (especially with the new ACTA and the move towards extending the lifespan of copyright) its time to endemnify the consumer. Since I don't ever enjoy that "right to listen/view/etc" inherent with any media with attached DRM technology, perhaps the Company selling the media should not enjoy their profit until the end of life of the product.

Here's the suggestion..

Have all revenues for media sold with digital rights management be held until the copyright for the media expires, at which point, the selling company may release the DRM on the media and collect their money. Have the governments hold this money in trust and they can refund the customer from this fund if the selling company ever turns off the DRM prior to the expiration of the copyright.

heh, ok, applying flame retardent and ducking down in my foxhole now for some much needed rest :)


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