Digital Restrictions Management.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, of which I am a member, recently pointed in their Deep Links site how DRM is is punishing paying customers rather than “pirates”. Clip from the article:
Netflix subscriber Davis Freeberg ran headlong into an incompatibility between Microsoft DRM and … Microsoft DRM.
The trouble all started when Freeberg bought a new monitor for his Vista computer. When he decided to watch streaming movies from Netflix, Netflix documentation warned him that the recommended means of fixing a problem with DRM-restricted Netflix programming “may remove licenses to other content using Microsoft DRM” — including, in particular, restricted programming he had already purchased through Amazon Unbox. Trying to resolve this problem just got Freeberg a tech-support runaround, with each company involved pointing the finger at another.
Tech support problems are not unfamiliar to PC users, but where did this problem come from? Freeberg was just trying to use a new monitor with his computer; his reward, apparently, was broken DRM software, which couldn’t be sure the new monitor met movie studios’ arbitrary requirements (or perhaps just couldn’t be sure whether it could be sure). Furthermore, the DRM industry — which has already spent countless engineer-hours making “approved” and “licensed” products (seemingly at the expense of “compatible” and “interoperable” devices) — couldn’t even offer Freeberg a clear path out of this jam.
Ahh, the joys of running equipment and software is DRM-laden. Unfortunately, I suspect that we’ll see a lot more of these stories in the coming year, without the the media market caring one iota, and as the article suggests, DRM is only affecting paying customers, not the so-called “pirates” that are making this DRM content available- without DRM. In other words, biting the hand that feeds you. Good strategy Microsoft!