Why DRM drives piracy
March 5, 2007 | By Peter Bihr |
Jim Baen explains the connection between DRM & piracy, and why DRM doesn’t stop, but foster piracy:
Electronic copyright infringement is something that can only become an “economic epidemic” under certain conditions. Any one of the following: 1) The product they wantâ€”electronic textsâ€”are hard to find, and thus valuable. 2) The products they want are high-priced, so there’s a fair amount of money to be saved by stealing them. 3) The legal products come with so many added-on nuisances that the illegal version is better to begin with. Those are the three conditions that will create widespread electronic copyright infringement, especially in combination. Why? Because they’re the same three general conditions that create all large-scale smuggling enterprises. And . . . Guess what? It’s precisely those three conditions that DRM creates in the first place. So far from being an impediment to so-called “online piracy,” it’s DRM itself that keeps fueling it and driving it forward.
Agreed, particularly to No. 3: The hassles of DRM (and most consumer anti-piracy measures) are just such a pain, from iTunes, to anti-piracy messages on rented DVDs, to my all-time favorite: the DVD region codes which locked my old laptop’s DVD drive ’cause I watched a handful original, purchased, non-pirated DVDs from different countries. (Which isn’t going to happen again, needless to say.)