Why DRM is not a solution!

22. September 2006

This is a reply to Rodney Dawes’ post on DRM:

Why DRM cannot work
DRM wants to make people able to hear their music or view their videos without seeing or accessing data. While it is no problem to encrypt data in a save way, it has to be unencrypted if the user wants to do anything useful with it. If it is unencrypted* the user is able to do anything with it that he wants and that’s not what the music industry wants. Houston, we have a problem.

* in the player, the hardware, in the air, wherever

Of course you can try to make it extremly difficult for the user to break your system but this leads to the crappy implementations you see all the time.

Why DRM is obsolete
There is a much better technique as DRM, that is signing the sold music/videos with a secret, unremovable key. This can be done to mp3 for example. Now, the user can do with it’s data whatever he wants but once he does something what law does not permit, the right owner knows who is to judge.

The only music shop where I buy only music using exactly this signing technology which was developed at the Frauenhofer Institut (where mp3 was developed, too). And therefore it is the only webshop where you can listen to legal music on Linux without doing any crap.

3 Responses to “Why DRM is not a solution!”

  1. aquarichy Says:

    Wo kaufst du musik?

  2. JanC Says:

    It’s not the only shop using watermarks, http://www.belgianmusiconline.be/ uses the same or a similar technique and they give you the choice between MP3 and Ogg Vorbis. Unfortunately their website uses Flash for listening to previews, but the music they sell plays on any MP3/Vorbis player.

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