Out of all the technology expos in the past few weeks (Macworld and CES), for me the biggest highlight news-worthy-wise was the announcement from Apple that songs purchased through iTunes will be completely DRM (Digital Rights Management) free.
iTunes has always been the single biggest implementation of DRM on the planet, and it is fantastic news. This really is big news, as iTunes has always been the bastion of of a reasonably good effort at DRM. Hopefully, and i think it will be, the beginning of the end of DRM for digital content.
I have always been very critical of DRM. The fact that companies burden these type of restrictions on legitimate customers who are actually legitimately purchasing their product has always baffled me. I think it is now the case of the music industry finally acknowledging that piracy will exist regardless of what they do in terms of DRM, and instead of making it more difficult for the legitimate customers to actually use the product they are selling (and hence in a weird way actually encouraging them to look elsewhere), they should be making it as easy as possible for customers to legally acquire their product and to use it in whatever way they see fit.
Another related annoyance in the stupid anti-piracy stuff they have at the start of DVDs and Blu-rays (the 'You wouldn't steal a car..." stuff). After having spent my hard-earned money in buying the DVD or Blu-ray disc, I find it a big insult to have to sit through that crap (because most of the time the disc restrictions don't allow you to even skip it; at least on a VHS tape you could easily fast-forward it!). Again, to not have to sit through that stuff is just another reason for people to go out and actually pirate the stuff.
I think that all the record, film, TV, and video-game industries just have to accept that piracy of their material will be around regardless of what they do to prevent it. The digital age makes that an almost certainty. No DRM or anti-piracy method has ever proved successful, and in my opinion none will ever be. What they should be doing is stop wasting their own money on ultimately unfruitful ventures like that, and instead make it as easy as possible for consumers to legally acquire their material at decent prices.
We can dream.... 😉
To life-blogging, I am spending today home sick, as me and Des seem to have acquired the summer flu that has been going around.