DRM is merely a foot in the door

I’m not convinced that any of the large publishers want to stop unauthorized copying, really. I think digital restrictions management (a far more honest expansion for DRM as it focuses on the effect for the largest group of people–the users) is merely the latest means to an end: getting more power and money from those who believe large publishers want to stop unauthorized copying.

Consider this from the venture capitalist’s perspective: if any of them are foolish enough to believe that DRM could work (if only it were implemented in the correct way), foolish enough to believe that a computer can discern intent (and thus distinguish between a copy made for an approved purpose versus a copy made for any other purpose), there’s a business willing to take that money and build a shoddy DRM system.

Congress has been quite willing to give copyright holders more power on the logic that they must do something to stop unauthorized copying; even at the expense of free speech, interoperation, and competition (see the Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

The large publishers are doing the majority of the talking when it comes to lobbying Congress for increased monopoly power.  Even if you’re a copyright holder sympathetic to the concerns about unauthorized copying, should you let them speak for you?