Thursday, October 05, 2006

rootkits for books? drm and print media?

From comments following on a recent post at reBang:

  1. Woody E Says:

    Books don’t run root-kits on people.
    DRM movies do run root-kits on people’s computers.
    Thassa crucial difference, sho!

  2. csven Says:

    C’mon, Woody. You know better. DRM is no more about rootkits than any other piece of software, because ANY software can have malicious code in it.

    Are cars weapons? Some people use them as transportation. Some people use them as bombs. All depends on what the person does with the technology.

    This is really about people and their behavior. Nothing more. Nothing less. It would be possible to have a fair DRM system, but there are a few problems in getting there:

    1) most of the people behind DRM systems don’t create the content they’re trying to protect; they’re protecting profits.
    2) most of the people accessing content using DRM hacks probably don’t have a clue about Intellectual Property laws and if they do probably don’t really care; they only care about getting something for free.
    3) deciding what’s “fair” depends on whether one is a consumer or a content provider, and there are way more consumers.
    4) the two sides are, for the most part, polarizing the issue.

    We’ll see if Sony’s new e-book makes inroads. If it does, it’ll be interesting to see if some people change their tune (of course I’m referring to those who don’t have other sources of income).

Librarians, where do you stand on this? Should the current impossibility of using books to run rootkits on readers necessarily exclude print media from the DRM debate? Are the old-fashioned copyright laws good enough -- or should readers get the kind of rights Cory Doctorow argues for in re: digital content? And is it hypocritical not to provide such usage rights to readers if you take a similar stance against DRM? Where are you on this?

No comments: