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Yes, DRM is inherently evil

by Brett Smith Contributions Published on Sep 29, 2006 05:58 PM
People keep saying DRM isn't inherently evil. Why?

Over the past week, I've heard a number of people claim that there's nothing inherently evil about DRM: that it's just a neutral tool, and you can do good or evil things with it. I'm always a little surprised to hear this. After all, the media cartel calls it "Digital Rights Management;" that kind of Orwellian doublespeak makes it hard to think positive thoughts about it.

The point of DRM is to keep someone from making full use of some data they have, and I can't imagine what's good about that. It's certainly bad when it keeps me from putting my music on all my devices. It's bad when it keeps me from recording the TV shows I watch, too. And even when it has potential security applications, I think it's bad. Sure, a company could use DRM-like technology to keep its internal correspondence away from competitors and journalists. But do we want to live in a society where the New York Times can't get a copy of the Pentagon Papers?

If DRM isn't inherently evil, it certainly doesn't have anything going for it.

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