Those of you who regularly stop back to this blog have no doubt noticed that a fair amount of the news updates are concerned with “DRM,” but many of you might not know what that means. You’ve seen Warner Brothers, Sony, Apple and iPod, along with lots of other big media names tied to those articles. I figured this morning would be a good opportunity to tackle some of the basic concepts surrounding “DRM,” and why I think they are important issues for progressives to be out in front of.
DRM means Digital Rights Management, but more importantly, it represents attempts by media conglomerates to use technological means to prevent users from copying content they’ve produced. Originally, it meant preventing CDs and DVDs from being copied, but with the digital age n full swing with MP3 players and digital downloads, it has meant a variety of other things in a variety of different venues all centered around the media industry’s “right” to make as much money as possible.
Concepts in this arena get messy quick, so I’m going to keep this post relatively short and leashed to only one relatively narrow topic: what is it about digital media that has so complicated copyright law?