Robin’s Cyberlaw Remix

Blogging Cyberspace and Intellectual Property Legal Issues by Robin Gross

New DRM.INFO Website to Educate on Dangers of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)
18 October 2006 – From IP Justice

Several public interest groups including international library groups, the Free Software Foundation Europe, the Consumer Project on Technology, iCommons and others have created a new website DRM.INFO to educate the public on the use of technological restrictions on digital media. There are a number of good articles and other resources there on the topic of “Digital Restrictions Management” so its worth a bookmark.

Sometimes called “Digital Rights Management” (or “DRM”) is the use of technological restrictions to control how a person uses her digital media, like CDs or DVDs. DRM systems are also used to control the operating system on a personal computer. This means the software company, not the computer’s owner, controls what happens on that computer. Its illegal for consumers to bypass those “digital locks”, so the software company or the Hollywood movie studio (or record company) is in lawful control of your computer and your use of your music and movies.

One of the founding principles of IP Justice is that:

  1. We reserve the right to control our individual experience of intellectual property.

We are entitled to decide on which device, computer, or operating system we wish to experience our music, movies, books or games. This includes a right to “tinker” or reverse engineer media, allowing us to take it apart and adapt it to our own individual needs.

Technology empowers us with greater control over the ideas we consume. We do not violate copyright by skipping over commercials, muting offensive language, or watching movies on a homemade DVD player. Copyright law grants authors the right to control public performances, but when we are in the privacy of our own homes, using the media we lawfully acquired and the equipment we own, that private experience belongs exclusively to us.

Plus, there are a whole slew of privacy and security concerns from the imposition of DRM on consumers. So get educated, and help your friends to become wise about the dangers of DRM at DRM.INFO.
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