Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lawrence Lessig Has a Modest Suggestion for iTunes DRM

Lawrence Lessig points out that there are independent artists on iTunes who would be happy if the DRM on their music were turned off today. Why doesn't Steve start there?


Ricardo Furioso said...

What's DRM?

Michael Markman said...

DRM is the abbreviation of Digital Rights Management. It entails technologies for enforcing restrictions on the uses that people can make of digital files.

The arguments for and against DRM are long and intricate. I'll bastardize them with this oversimplification:

Proponents argue that DRM technologies are necessary to protect the rights of copyright owners in a digital universe where copying is easy and perfect.

Opponents argue that DRM rescinds rights that people have had for decades (e.g. I can make archival copies of digital files and record TV shows for my own use) and centuries. (e.g. I can re-sell my books in the marketplace. I can lend or give them freely).

Want more? You could Google it up. If you do, you'd do well to Google up Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig on the subject.