International day against DRM

Everyday it seems there is a dedication to something. Before Towel Day comes up on May 25th this Tuesday May 6th is International Day Against DRM.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and it is one of the most controversial (only rivaled by net neutrality) topics of our time, as we see a shift in society away from the industrial age into the age of knowledge. Some people regard anything available in digital form to be public domain (remember Napster?), but that is unfair to publishers and authors. Hence it is perfectly understandable that content creators would like to protect their content from piracy.

On the other hand, local legislation gives people rights that some of the big corporations don’t seem to care about. In Germany for example it is perfectly legal to create a copy of any music cd or movie you rent from the local library. Unless you override any copy protection, that is.

As a consequence you see some content creators with quite restrictive measures against copying whereas others have a rather liberal attitude towards the topic. There are extremely drastic forms of DRM on the rise: Did you know that if you buy a book on Amazon and download it to your Kindle they can remotely wipe it from your library if they feel like it? Some digital video recorders do not let you fast forward commercials. Some German sites will not even allow to play video content properly if you have ad blocking software enabled.

And then again, while Hollywood whines about piracy it actually profited in the last year – even HBO admits that piracy of Game of Thrones increases their number of subscriptions.

If you go around the world, I think you’re right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that’s better than an Emmy.

Because the topic in itself isn’t as trivial as to say stop all DRM perhaps you can use this May 6th to consider your point on this matter. There must be a better way to have fair conditions both for the content creators as well as for consumers in the information technology age. And in case you didn’t know, DRM is a fundamental part of the currently (and only privately) negotiated TPP.

By the way: In order to advance into a society of knowledge a contact of mine at Packt Publishing let me know they’re offering all their eBooks and videos at $10 for 24 hours only on 6th May 2014. If you’re looking for a good read during this spring, check it out.

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Blogging since 2003 about life, tech, yoga. Passionate about the details and eager to know more. Systems theory meets empathy.
Bochum. Germany.