iPad and DRM : here we go again, and the industry isn’t making any progress

So, we’re a few weeks away from the release of the iPad and here we go with the good old DRM fight again!

Anti DRM Protests against the iPad, Defectivebydesign on the issue, the iBad petition sent to Apple, etc.

Here is my comment on the issue:

Two comments: First, as long as no other “viable” user experience and business model as the one proposed by Apple is available out there they will continue delivering and driving the market with this unique touch of “user centered design”. They’ve done it several times with the iPod, iPhone / iTouch and now the iPad should be no exception.
They’re good at what they do because the USER exists in their world and it’s a fundamental part of the equation.

Now, concerning the DRM side of things, well let’s put it this way: given the right business model and user experience, it’s not that bad after all. It does however need fundamental changes in the way it is approached in terms of user rights (e.g., fair use, home copy, 1st sale rights, space shifting, etc.) But I argue it’s not Apple who should be blamed for that, but all the Lobbies behind the insane approach to DRM they’ve recurrently forced into the industry, refusing to consider how our society has changed with the Internet.

At the end of the day, don’t blame Apple for that blame the lobbies, congress, copyright law, the majors, the publishers. Apple is good at listening and hearing its users. DRM providers only listen and hear MPAA, RIAA and lobbies. By refusing to innovate and consider creative alternatives, the whole market is doomed and people continue looking at DRM as a Restriction technology instead of an Enabler. Re-thinking creatively DRM is possible. Think about it! Most users aren’t criminals. There’s no need for military grade security. DRM doesn’t curb those that it should. User Experience is Key, put the user back where he belongs: in the driving seat, not in the trunk shoving it whatever suits best the big stakeholders. There’s much much room for improvement, fun times ahead, check it out.

DRM can be fixed (it’s technical and we’ve got plenty of extra smart people), I’m not sure about the majors though (it’s not technical and …) Time will tell but will it be before or after they go belly up ?


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