Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

DRM is losing your (digital) cool

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publishing.pngYesterday, I completely lost my cool.

The details aren't important - I just felt up against a wall, trapped, taken advantage of, exploited, and betrayed.1 Upset and scared, I finally just started lashing out verbally.

Which accomplished all of nothing.

Neither the immediate situation or the larger one changed. I was more tired, more upset, and generally less able to get myself out of the actual problem that started the whole thing. If anything, my little tirade probably made the whole situation worse.

That same pattern shows up with DRM (Digital Rights Management).

An author (or publisher) sees their work stolen. Takedown notices are ignored, their hard work is taken advantage of, and exploited, and their trust betrayed.

Trust me, I understand this feeling.

But blowing your stack, slapping digital locks and keys on everything doesn't actually change the situation. Oh, it's noticed - usually by the innocent people who happen to be inconvenienced or kept from your work.2 But the torrents are still there, the unauthorized sites still exist, and all you manage to do is piss off people who happen to be nearby.

Yeah, the situation sucks. Creator's rights need to be respected. But that doesn't mean that all reactions are actually effective.

1 Whether or not I was actually trapped, betrayed, etc., is a completely different story and largely dependent upon one's point of view.
2 Yes, DRM hurts legitimate consumers. Again, I know from personal experience.

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