In pursuit of market control now, deployers of DRM are robbing us of our culture in perpetuity by enclosing the future commons.
The problem with technology-enforced restrictions isn’t that they allow legitimate enforcement of rights; it’s the collateral damage they cause in the process. In my personal opinion the problems are (very concisely) that they:
- quantise and prejudge discretion,
- reduce “fair use” to “historic use”,
- empower a hierarchical agent to remain in the control loop, and
- condemn content to become inaccessible.
It’s clearly right to “pay the labourer a wage” but is that enough excuse to also condemn culture into the memory hole and enforce an economy of constant repayment for the same stuff? Is there a solution?
If there is, it will surely involve a fundamental rethink of rights legislation – patents and copyrights – that goes back to the social contract on which both are based, giving limited and temporary one-time rights to the producer in exchange for the enrichment of society.