All in DRM

I just received in the mail today from a copy of the new Special Collector’s Edition of the 1953 sci-fi classic film, War of the Worlds. This extraveganza of 1950’s ray guns, Martian fighting machines, and gorgeous Technicolor has been a favorite of mine for many years. It’s the only film I know, for example, that features the original jet powered Northrop Flying Wing in one of the military’s futile attacks on the Martians. And those manta ray shaped Martian machines with the flexible “cobra” weapons are just so cool! But wait — there’s more.
I got an email this morning from Apple announcing the availability of the new Santana album via the Apple music service through iTunes. Since I don't buy through iTunes anymore (I'm concerned about DRM incompatibility and incompatible shifts in the platform in the future) I decided to investigate buying the CD. I know, I've publicly sworn off music CD's due to DRM incompatibility issues, but I've been listening to Santana ever since Woodstock.
There's an interesting article by David Shamah in the September 6 Jerusalem Post titled “DRM Dummies?” In it Shamah describes how the Macrovision protection in his video camera prevented him from using the camera as part of a chain of devices to copy old family videotapes to DVD. (The camera incorrectly decided the signal coming in from his VHS tapes were “copyrighted” and automatically shut down.)
Elsewhere I've written about how online sellers of music CD's have a mixed record on telling customers in advance whether what they've bought really can be used due to built in copy protection. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a report on what Apple and others are doing with their DRM schemes applied to the online sale of digital music files.
There's an interesting article in the August 22 online Computerworld magazine called Intellectual Property is Focus at New Job. In it, a newly hired security professional at a computer product manufacturing company, writing anonymously, describe an assignment to figure out how to keep the company's intellectual property, such as engineering drawings and servive manuals, from "walking out the door."
I’m not ant-copyright. Copyright owners have a right to do whatever they want with the properties they own and control. But to make a free market operate, there has to be information available about product features that will make products potentially unusable. Sadly, what I see happening is market confusion and a crumbling of the standards that once made it so easy to buy and use recorded music.