27 February 2007


One of my favorite SF authors, Eric Flint, has a clear, well thought-out editorial up on why Digital Rights Management (DRM) drives piracy, instead of preventing it:

I would think the point is obvious. Pirates rob bullion ships, they don't rob grain ships. Electronic copyright infringement is something that can only become an "economic epidemic" under certain conditions. Any one of the following:

  1. The product they want—electronic texts—are hard to find, and thus valuable.
  2. The products they want are high-priced, so there's a fair amount of money to be saved by stealing them.
  3. The legal products come with so many added-on nuisances that the illegal version is better to begin with.

Those are the three conditions that will create widespread electronic copyright infringement, especially in combination. Why? Because they're the same three general conditions that create all large-scale smuggling enterprises.

Go read the whole thing in There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

[via boingboing]

UPDATE: From boingboing this morning, "Reps. Rick Boucher and John Doolittle's FAIR Use Act would remove some of the entertainment industry's most draconian anti-innovation weapons and chip away at the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) broad restrictions on fair use. Take action now and tell Congress to help restore balance in copyright.

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