Monday, September 24, 2007

DRM companies fear customers are ruining its business

It must be a terrible time being a company that produces DRM technology - after all, producing a product whose mere existence makes items without attract a premium price can't be much fun.

The industry gathered together for a conference, last week's Digital Rights Strategies event in New York to shake their heads and feel generally misunderstood.

They blame the record companies and movie studios for making DRM unpopular by implementing their products in half-arsed ways:

Movielabs’ [Jim] Helman said, could be a severe consumer backlash.

“We see a huge risk of a bad consumer experience from the inability to move content among devices,” he said. “The engine is not yet on fire, and the impact won’t be quite as bad as a plane crash, but there is definitely a huge risk out there.”

How measured of Helman to suggest that consumers rejecting products which replace their rights with a series of rules won't be quite as bad as people burning to death in a planecrash.

What's really interesting is that even the 'experts' don't really seem to understand what they've done. Brian Lakamp is currently president of Fluxe:
“DVD was an exception,” he said. “There, we started with a usage model—you can play any disc in any player—and then designed a DRM to support that model.”

Lakamp used to be an executive for Sony Pictures, and yet he seems to believe that you could play any DVD in any DVD player. Up to a point, that's true - but only if you worked out how to wrestle off the region-specific DRM implemented by manufacturers at the behest of the likes of Sony Pictures.

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