zaterdag 11 februari 2006

Broadcast flag? DRM? Let's have it!

I don't like DRM or broadcast flags or any other system that limits users in how they want to consume digital content. It should go away, it should never be there in the first place. But wait, may be it should be there. May be it's good. Let them dig their own graves. Let them ruin their profitable businesses, let them make room for new ones. After reading about HBO's effort to use a sort of broadcast flag to ban viewers from recording any of its programming on DVRs, I can't help but think that we should just let them go ahead. What will happen is that people will increasingly start finding and liking other content with less restrictions more than HBO's. This content will be supported by new commercial models, hopefully enabling the same level of quality as HBO's programming today. These models should gain from having no restrictions on distribution and copying. Which ones? I don't know yet for sure, but I do know that introducing a kind of broadcast flag system will speed up innovation in that area. So may be it's a good idea to have more broadcast flags, more DRM, more perceived protection of existing revenue sources. The sooner the better.

"They’ve recently filed a motion with the FCC to enable the broadcast flag on all programming, which would basically disable you from recording the show via Tivo or another DVR device. Even if you’re a subscriber to HBO programming, you’ll still be barred from recording the show."

2 opmerkingen:

  1. More of less key to the whole drive towards DRM, broadcast flags, watermarks, is that little problem of making it illegal to make, sell or use devices which do not support DRM, flags and watermarks.

    The only devices which will be allowed are devices for which the producer has the licence to drm and watermark technologies link VEIL. This gives hollywood total control over the kind of devices and features that are allowed. The same thing they did with the DVD: Have you seen much innovation in the features of DVD players lately?

    Don't make a mistake: This is not about a few unauthorised copies, or "piracy". It's about power.

    It's about regaining absolute control over the distribution channel. They lost control because of new technology (the internet) now they want to use technology and law to reclaim there control, power over both the public as well over the authors.


  2. Yes, I understand what your are saying. But as a content provider you're not required to make use of the broadcast flag or DRM protection provided by the hardware... And since there will be many more (internet-enabled) distribution channels that will work on many devices, it will be hard (=impossible) for Hollywood to control all content available to consumers.