Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

DRM, File Sharing, and the Protection of Obsolete Business Models

There's a great series of comments over on the Freedom To Tinker blog regarding Ed Felten's post DRM Wars: The Next Generation. The post and the comments provide good insight into where arguments and enforcement efforts are headed. Here are what I took to be the main points (I don't necessarily agree with all these points):

  • DRM cannot and does not prevent widespread file sharing through P2P networks.
  • At best DRM serves as a "speed bump" that mostly impacts the behavior of legal and casual users.
  • Arguments are no longer over copyright issues, they're about business models.
  • It's natural for media owners to seek political and legal support for business models that the free market won't support.
  • Many media owners still resist the idea they can make money in a DRM free world if they are imaginative and price files correctly.

Check out the original post. It's a good summary of the issues concerning the political debate about the extent to which the free market and traditional business models can -- or should --be allowed to operate without legislative intervention.



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