At this year’s [Consumer Electronics] show, the president of the Consumer Electronics Association, Gary Shapiro, spoke up for “digital freedom,” arguing that tech companies shouldn’t need Hollywood’s permission when they design a new product. Consumers, he said, should have the right to enjoy the content they buy at whatever time and on whichever device they like. They should also enjoy “fair use” to the extent that they can, without asking, copy movies for themselves, or copy a few seconds of a song and post it on a personal Web page.
If consumer electronics companies won’t give us these freedoms, there is a good chance we will find a way to take them for ourselves. Every form of digital rights management ever invented has proved vulnerable. Just weeks ago, a hacker unlocked the supposedly perfect HD-DVD encryption scheme.
The question is whether, in the face of economic and legal pressure from entertainment companies, next year’s Consumer Electronics Show will have anything new at all.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The New York Times today gives its editorial opinion on digital rights management (DRM), via Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin: