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Drm(Digital Right Management) Doesn't Really Matter: A Persuasive Paper Opposing The Use Of Drm In Online Media.

1221 words - 5 pages

With the advent of computers and the Internet, there is freedom to share all different forms of media, from music and movies to games and books, with anyone on the planet. Digital Right Management, known as DRM for short, is a system by which, through the use of licensing and encryption, digital content distributors control the copying and distribution of digital media while concurrently protecting the rights of the original author and/or copyright holder. DRM tries to control this newfound freedom by imposing limits to the extent to which consumers can use and share digital content. This ends up causing problems for honest consumers who simply want to burn a song to a CD again or copy a DVD, which they purchased, to their computer. DRM should be removed because, through its use on digital content, the content distributors have created numerous problems and have solved nothing.The biggest problem with DRM is how it removes the consumer's freedom to use digital content as they see fit. With DRM, the consumer is required to follow the rules of the content distributor. For example, it may limit the number of times a song can be burned to a CD or what computers can play said song. Recently, XCP, a copy-protection system on compact discs produced by Sony, came under fire for installing a small program known as a "rootkit" on the owner's computer, without the owner's consent, whenever the CD was inserted into a computer. What made matters even worse was when serious security holes where found in XCP that could allow an attacker to gain control of the affected machine. To add insult to injury, when Sony released a patch to fix the problem, they opened just as many security holes as they fixed. Finally, Microsoft released a security-hole-free patch to correct both problems, finally bringing this issue to a close. The head of Sony BMG's global digital business, Thomas Hesse, told National Public Radio that, "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"(Digital Right Management) This careless attitude among content distributors demonstrates that all their focus is more on profit than customer satisfaction. They choose the cheap option for their DRM, and in turn have received multiple lawsuits. The failure of XCP is a perfect example of how DRM can not only hinder ones use of media, but also become a serious risk as well.The alleged purpose of DRM is to stop piracy. Now, it may prevent your grandmother from pirating, but anyone with a few computer skills can easily find ways to circumvent it. Many people devote their time to cracking the DRM on all types of media. Perhaps the most famous is Jon Lech Johansen, otherwise known as DVD Jon. In 1999, at the age of 16, while still in high school, he and two other programmers created DeCSS, a program that would decrypt DVDs encrypted using the Content-Scrambling System (CSS). This allowed for a DVD to be copied to one's hard-drive and in turn allow the consumer to...

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