One DRM to Rule Them All?

One DRM to Rule Them All?

What would be the ideal form of DRM?  Besides, obviously, no DRM, copy protection that's industry-wide, so that you could snag something from one store or retailer and play it on any player, whether it be a Zune or an iPod, or even your DVD player, would be the dream of consumers.  While piracy is the bane of the industry, the fact that Apple owns Fairplay and has a stranglehold on its market share is an obvious other consideration.  One DRM would be helpful for the rest, though Apple probably likes things just the way the are.

Still, the industry would love to make things more open, while still keeping it closed, so to speak.  And that's the aim of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).

"This is great news for consumers hungry for access to a wider array of digital content they can enjoy on any device they own. We formed this consortium to give consumers that kind of power and choice," said Mitch Singer, president of DECE LLC, on behalf of its members. "To open up the market for digital distribution, we are developing a specification that connects a wide variety of services and devices. DECE LLC is taking the lessons learned from the successful "buy once, play anywhere" experience that we enjoy with CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray today, and using a similar approach in developing the next generation digital media experience."

Over time, DECE LLC will issue a licensable specification, along with a recognizable brand and logo for compliant products and services that will assure consumers that content they download will play on their devices. The specification, based on industry standards, will outline the hardware and software requirements for companies to follow as they define new consumer experiences.


Want more detail?  You'll have to wait until CES 2009.  At that point, DECE will unveil a brand, a logo, and more companies (they will also highlight additional companies during the intervening time).

Notably missing: that company that we said probably likes things just the way they are: Apple, and BFF Disney.  Still, there are months in which DECE can get those two on-board --- or not.

More to come.
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That I could live with. I have about 200 songs that I can't put on my zen because I got them from Itunes. Its a good thing I though about that early and started buying CDs again before I got trapped to Apple. Which is also why it will never happen. Once you have a ton of songs from Itunes the average joe is just going to get a Ipod and the next MP3 player after that will be another Ipod. They want to lock people into there world.

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Eff DRM! DECE just wants to license their product and make money...they don't care about us and our desire to use the media we buy.

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>> that "buy once, play anywhere" experience that we enjoy with CDs... <<

Except for those CDs that automatically install DRM rootkits on your computer, reduces the bitrate to garbage, or wont even play properly in your computer due to flawed DRM. The "buy once, play anywhere" experience that we enjoy with CDs is because THERE'S NO DRM ON THOSE CDs.

What if there was DRM on your vinyl records? I have tons from record companies that long went out of business. Would I be able to transfer them to new formats, if they only worked on antiquated equipment whose DRM prevents copying? No.

DRM is just another way companies have invented to sell you the same thing over and over, with every format change.

Think about this:  Has DRM been able to stop anyone who really wanted to pirate/rip a song from doing it?  No.  You don't even need to be technical - just have good hardware and a patchcable.  Will it ever prevent pirates?  25-years of broken video-game protection schemes says "No, again".  What has it actually accomplished?:  Prevent legal owners of the song from using it on multiple devices without re-buying it.

DRM should be illegal - it's defective by design.

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