DRM-Free: Not Just About Piracy
Posted on May 14th, 2016
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is supposedly a tool for protecting intellectual property in digital media, but the usage of it has introduced numerous other challenges. These side-effects (or in some cases, arguably intentional effects) cause other problems for the proliferation and use of beneficial technology.
These challenges can include:
- Speed, resource, and energy overhead
- Losing media you already “own" if the provider decides to discontinue it or goes out of business
- Inability to consume the media in different formats, backup the media, or use it offline
- Inability to edit the media for accessibility needs or personal projects (such as notetaking for review)
- Inability to lend, re-sell, trade, or gift the media
But there is pernicious another angle to DRM. The Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses one of these legal issues in a recent post, discussing how legal precedents around DRM also challenge the ability to improve the safety and security of critical devices (such as medical devices).