Monday, November 20, 2006

Of DRM and addictions

Recently, James Robertson linked this page that lists 10 reasons why DRM is bad. But more than once, I've gotten the impression that DRM is supposed to work because there is this assumption that consumers will not be able to control themselves, and they will compete buy any kind of glassy bead shown to them (PS3, anyone?).

But if that is the case, and consumers are being seen in terms of being addicted to stuff, let's play word replacement with the following rules.

  • "DRM" = "Illegal drug enforcement"
  • Instances of "media", "files", etc on which DRM is desirable, but that do not have DRM applied to them yet = "illegal drugs"
  • Instances of "media", "files", etc that are only available with DRM = "prescription drugs"
  • "media", "files", etc on which there is no DRM ever = "drugs"
The idea here is that, in the same way that people addicted to illegal substances typically pay for each high they get, DRM will force us to pay for every "enjoyable experience" we live. Therefore, let's rewrite the 10 reasons why DRM is bad in these terms and let's see where this takes us.
  1. Drug enforcement doesn't prevent illegal use of drugs, it just makes it a bit more difficult to access them.
  2. All it takes is one person to give the right seeds and instructions, and then drugs can be made available to everyone.
  3. Anyone selling prescription drugs is selling drugs anyway.
  4. Illegal drug enforcement adds a lot of costs to drug manufacturers.
  5. There is a huge hidden cost in trying to sell illegal drugs.
  6. Often the costs of the illegal drugs are passed along to the consumer as well.
  7. Drugs will give you a high today and tomorrow.
  8. In the future, your body will be significantly different from what your body is today.
  9. Illegal drug enforcement fundamentally changes who is in control of your drugs.
  10. Whenever you buy legal drugs, you support the system of illegal drug enforcement.
... perhaps the analogy can be refined a bit, and I really do not want to spend too much time polishing this post, but... wow...

No comments: