Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

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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